1. Saving When You Should Be Spending
Sometimes people are so concerned about saving money that they forget they sometimes need to spend it as well. Saving for a long term goal may be nice, but not at the cost of car or home repairs. And sometimes it’s necessary to replace ragged shoes or clothing. There’s a fine line between saving money and being stingy.
2. When You’re In Need
It’s also a bad idea to choose saving money overpaying for groceries or utilities. If you’re not in dire need, why would you rather put that money into the bank instead of pay for groceries or pay your monthly bills? There are times when spending money on necessities outweighs saving money.
3. Not Gaining Interest
There are still quite a few people who refuse to use banks or credit unions. While not trusting the banking industry is understandable, even earning the smallest amount of interest on your savings will make you more money than keeping it in an old jar at home.
4. When It Makes You Go Out of Your Way
Have you ever gone out of your way for a great deal? Maybe there’s a specialty food market an hour away that has the cheapest deals on some of your normal grocery items. This isn’t a necessarily bad thing to do, but the amount of money you spend to get there may be greater than what you’re saving. You don’t want to actually end up spending more than what you’re saving just because of transportation costs, do you? A lot of people don’t take gas or transportation into account if they’re going out of their way to catch a great deal, so keep this in mind the next time you want to drive somewhere far away for a certain deal.
5. Cheaper Isn’t Necessarily Better
A lot of people will always go for the cheapest option in order to save money. However, as you probably know, cheaper isn’t necessarily better. Sometimes it’s worth the money to choose a more expensive item. For instance, you may buy a $30 pair of dress pants for work that you need to replace or mend frequently instead of buying those $70 or $80 pants that would have lasted years. While going for the cheaper option isn’t always bad, it’s not always the best choice.
6. Choosing a “Deal” That Doesn’t Save You Money
Not all sales and deals are designed to save you money. Sometimes they’re designed to make you spend money on items you wouldn’t normally purchase. For instance, some bulk deals are actually more expensive than buying the normally sized items. Some products are actually marked up before they go on “sale”, meaning that you’re paying close to what you would have had the item not been on sale in the first place.
7. Decreasing Spending Instead of Increasing Your Income
While it’s not always possible for everyone to easily increase their income, a good goal to aim for is increasing your income instead of decreasing your spending. If you’re in a bad financial situation, saving money might be hard enough already. You might want to think about other ways to earn money to lighten your load, even if it means taking on a second job or freelance opportunity.
8. Leaving Your Savings and Investments to “Professionals”
Do you have an investment broker or someone who manages your finances? Do they charge a hefty fee for their services? Why not do the research yourself for free instead? Paying someone to manage or help save your money is incredibly counterintuitive. Most of the resources to help you save can be found online.
9. Think Twice About Using Coupons
Coupons can be a great way to save money, but have you ever caught yourself buying something just because you had an applicable coupon? How about purchasing a “buy two, get one free” deal even though you didn’t want three items? Or what about the coupons that advertise $1 off if you purchase two items? Sometimes coupons aren’t as great of a deal as they first appear.
10. Not Indulging
Saving money is an important part of most people’s finances, but sometimes people are way to severe and limiting with their finances. You can pressure yourself to save, but sometimes you also need to reward yourself. Look at it this way – one of the hardest things about dieting is cutting certain items cold turkey. That often makes you want those treats even more, to the point that you cheat and eat them anyway. You may find that rewarding yourself every once in awhile by buying something you desire helps you to become better at saving. A little indulgence can go a long way.