If, like many Americans, you’re keen on saving money, whether it’s for an emergency fund, retirement savings or paying for your child’s college tuition, it’s certainly a great idea.

There are however a number of mistakes that people make when trying to save money that actually end up costing them more money in the long run. Today’s blog will focus on those mistakes so that you can hopefully avoid them in the future. Enjoy.

The first mistake is to stop spending on preventative measures. For example, not spending money to maintain your automobile might save you money now but, when your car breaks down and needs expensive repairs, it will no doubt cost you more than if you had maintained it correctly. Sure, lowering your spending on nonessentials is a great idea, but car maintenance, health maintenance and home maintenance are actually more essential than you might think. If you’re cutting back, try not to cut back on those items.

Another mistake that many consumers make is to buy the cheapest product or service for whatever they happen to need. The fact is however that the old adage “you get what you pay for” is really true. For example, if you need a circular saw and buy the cheapest it will no doubt break-down and need to be replaced long before a circular saw of much higher quality will need to be replaced. The same goes for food, clothing, appliances and many other expenses. It doesn’t mean that you need to always buy the top of the line, best quality products, but rather learn to shop for value rather than simply for the lowest price.

One common mistake is to assume that there’s a “quick fix” to your financial problems. The fact is, if it took you a few years to dig yourself into a financial hole, it’s probably going to take you a few years to get yourself back out of it. The fact that it takes time and effort shouldn’t keep you from fixing your financial problems but instead be a lesson to never make them again.

Making the false assumption that they need to deny themselves the “good things in life” is a mistake that many consumers make. The fact is that, when done in the right way and on a regular basis, cutting down on spending and putting more money into savings won’t keep you from enjoying the things you love. In fact, if done correctly, it might actually help you to enjoy them more because you’ll have less financial stress.

Lastly, a majority of consumers believe that they don’t need to make fundamental changes to their savings habits. The unavoidable truth is much different however and can be seen simply by the fact that America is one of the most indebted countries in the world.

Short term changes are good for short-term problems but, on the big scale of things, most people’s financial problems aren’t short-term. If you’re not prepared to make fundamental changes to the way you think about money, the amount that you spend and, more importantly, the amount that you put into savings on a regular basis, very little positive results will come out of any changes you might make.

And there you have them, some of the most common mistakes that American consumers make when it comes to saving money. Hopefully, now that you’ve been introduced to them, you can avoid them in your own life and always keep your finances in a healthy state.