Friendly PSA: remember to consider the long-term cost of your purchases. There are some items that initially seem affordable enough, but over time, they're actually quite costly. And Apartment Therapy offers some useful examples. Photo by Mike Mozart.
It's not just cars -- you want to consider the total cost of ownership of everything you buy. Foresight doesn't always come easy, though, so thankfully, Dabney Frake of Apartment Therapy warns us of the following items:
Inkjet Printers: Once again, the actual printing hardware itself is pretty inexpensive. This HP OfficeJet is less than $US100 ($131). But they are also ink hogs and it's incredible painful to pay $US22 ($29) for a single black cartridge -- not to mention another $US48 ($63) for three colour cartridges. For ink. It's yet another good reason to go paperless.
Water Filtration Systems: Same deal here. A Brita water pitcher is $US20 ($26).99 ($28) on Amazon, and the filters are $US14 ($18) for a three-pack. They recommend changing the filter once every two months. Tap water is pretty safe here in the U.S. so that's really money spent on a slight taste difference.
Refillable Mops: You can buy a Swiffer starter set for about $US20 ($26) online, but the refills will run you another $US10 ($13). Considering you often use more than one refill pad during each cleaning, the cost can really add up.
This isn't to say you should avoid buying these items, you just want to be aware of their ongoing cost. Frake offers a few additional examples, so go check out her full post at the link below.
[Initially Cheap Products That Are Actually Quite Expensive Over Time -- Apartment Therapy]