Saving money is important on the path to financial security, and it’s an integral part of being frugal for most people. However, it’s definitely not something that’s easy to do. Much like anything, it’s easy to make bad savings habits which can actually cost you more money than if you didn’t save money at all.
Here are five things that everyone has done at least once, but are definitely bad saving habits:
1. Using coupons for things you don’t need
Coupons are awesome, and you can really save a lot of money by using them. The trick is to only use coupons for things that you actually need, and only in amounts you’ll actually use. After all, if you really don’t need something and hadn’t planned on getting it, then buying it on sale isn’t actually a bargain. I call this over-couponing, and it’s one of the main reasons I don’t use coupons very often… it’s just too easy to get sucked in to buying things you wouldn’t have otherwise in the name of “savings.”
2. Not reading the fine print on introductory deals
Introductory deals which include a free month of service, discounted prices, or 0% interest can be awesome, especially if you were planning on doing whatever it was anwyay. However, be sure to read the fine print. Sometimes, you’ll find that sure, it’s discounted for a year but the contract is for two. Or perhaps the 0% interest is actually deferred, which means that you’ll have to pay it back if you don’t pay it off in a year.
In short, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
3. Buying more because it’s ‘on sale’
Getting things on sale is awesome, but only if you don’t go overboard. The absolute worst is the “Buy 2 get 1 free” deals. Sure, it might seem up front like you’re saving money, but if you didn’t actually intend to get two to begin with, then you’re not really saving any money. In fact, you’re buying twice as many as you need. The same goes for buying things on sale that you wouldn’t have bought otherwise.
On the flip side, getting a bigger package of hamburger on sale and freezing the extra is a savings because you’d buy it eventually anyway and it is cheaper to do it that way. The point is to always be cautious with sales, and realize that it’s only a deal if you will actually use the items and would have bought it at full price.
4. Using a credit card as an emergency fund
We’ve written about this before, so I won’t wax poetic. However, there are plenty of people who are using a credit card ‘in case of emergencies’ and calling it okay. The long and short of it is that using a credit card for emergencies actually puts you more in debt and in a far worse financial situation than simply being cautious and building up an actual emergency fund.
5. Trying to DIY things that are beyond your skill
Doing projects yourself is a great way to save some money, and it has the added bonus of being exactly what you wanted. However, there are some things that are just not worth it. Sure, you could probably try and DIY that faulty valve in your car, but if you don’t have the tools and the knowledge there’s a good chance that you’ll end up breaking things or hurting yourself, which will cost even more money than if you’d just had a professional do it. This is especially true when it comes to electronics and mechanical things. Just use some common sense.
What are some bad saving habits you have which cost you money? Leave a note below and help someone else out!