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Home / Frugality / 3 Things With Higher Front End Costs But Long Term Savings


Certified Pre-owned CarWow, I nearly fell asleep writing that long title. Hopefully, you are still with me. I would hate to post an article to an empty internet. The old saying goes that ”you get what you pay for.” That is a general truth whether you are talking about stuffed animals or homes. Often times it does make sense to be frugal and save on the front-end expense of an item, there are a few things that make more sense to spend a little extra in the beginning so that you can save over the years. Here are three of them.

Used Cars

Used is the only way a sensible person would buy a car, but there are used cars and there are ”used cars.” If you are a mechanic or know one personally, you can go looking for cash deals and save yourself quite a bit of cash. For those of us who do not, buying a used car is a bit trickier. The solution is to buy a certified pre-owned car, or CPO. They are inspected more closely and many of them still carry a portion of the manufacturers warranty. These cars will run a few thousand more than a comparable non-certified version, but should last longer if serviced properly.

For a real-world example of the savings derived from paying more upfront for a vehicle, check out Pauline Paquin’s post on  Why buying the most expensive motorcycle on Ebay saved me money.  She paid nearly double the price for her BMW adventure-tourer than she originally planned, but it saved her money (and a lot of stress) in the end.


A lot is made of energy star rated appliances. These appliances will save you some money over time when compared to other brand new appliances. Personally, I have never owned a brand new appliance. I have a 15 year old refrigerator that does its job very well and my washer and dryer are of a ”certain age” as well. I spent a total of $150 on the three, whereas you would be hard pressed to pay less than $800 for an energy star rated refrigerator. On the other hand, if you feel that you do not want to take the risk of buying a used appliance, then energy star appliances are the to take.


One area that you should never skimp on is electronics. These items should always be bought new and carefully. Used televisions and the like have probably been jostled around, dropped, and otherwise abused by their previous owners. As with many things, there are different levels of quality. Buying an electronic item based on price is dicey. The big box stores will sell you a 50 inch t.v for a reasonable price, but they will not last very long and can not be serviced. Look for a store that sells and services electronics. You will pay a premium for these items, but you will have the product much longer and be more satisfied with your purchase.

In many cases, used is better than buying new for the frugal people in the world. Frugal has to go hand-in-hand with sensible. The smartest frugal people do their research and weigh the past reliability and quality reviews of a product. Have a look at a trustworthy site like Consumer Reports to find the information you need before you buy.


About the author: Jerry Coffey


Jerry Coffey spent many years in a debt-riddled gray area somewhere between broke and desperately broke. His seemingly endless need for more and more cash led him to payday loans, repossessions, bankruptcy, and depression. After years of the same financial style, he heard a piece of advice that inspired him to find a way to change. The advice: ''The very definition of a fool is someone who continues to do the same things, but expects different results.'' This led him to a much more frugal lifestyle that sees all of his bills paid on time and a growing savings account. Even the seed of a retirement account has begun to sprout.


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