Earn/Save Money

7 Saving Habits That End Up Costing You More

If you’re extremely money conscious like I am, then you have probably done some really stupid/crazy things to save a few bucks. Unfortunately, there are times that your passionate frugality can backfire, causing you to actually spend more money (aka a frugal person’s worst nightmare).

Here are 7 saving habits that end up costing you more. Any of them sound familiar?

1. Avoiding check-ups at the doctor/dentist: This may seem like a needless cost if you feel fine and all of your teeth are intact, but an infection or other problem could sneak right up on you – and a visit to the emergency room could end up costing you a lot more than that $80 check-up (I’ve been buying my dental exams from living social/groupon and saving a ton).

2. Taking store credit card offers: I get it. You’re spending a lot of money, and they offer you a 20% discount if you sign up for their store’s credit card. This seems wonderful, except for when you end up paying high interest on the purchase and wiping out the in-store savings. Plus, your credit score could take a ding for closing the card a month later. Just don’t do it.

3. Doing your own taxes: Unless you went to school for accounting or have an incredibly simple return, I would leave this to the professionals. Keep in mind too that your tax prep fees are deductible, so it’s not as costly as it seems… or as costly as getting audited.

4. Not contributing to a retirement fund: If you are not putting aside money for retirement, you are missing out on the rewards of building investments tax-free. This is especially true if you get matched contributions from your employer – you are pretty much saying no to free money, and that is not only costly, but very stupid. You’re smarter than that.

5. Buying cheap products: I have found that you actually save money by investing in the higher priced options of certain things. For example, we’ve all made the mistake of buying cheap shoes and ¬†wearing them once before having to give them away because they tear up your feet. It’s much better to buying cheap shoes costs morespend the extra money on something nice (and comfy) that you’ll have for years. This is the same for electronics – you may try to save by buying the cheaper brands, but you get what you pay for. You may end up needing to buy two laptops or cameras when they break down for the price it would have cost you to buy just one quality item.

6. Buying food in bulk: Unless you’re like Brad and Angelina with fifty children, it’s very likely that whenever you buy food in bulk, alot of it goes to waste. I don’t cook myself, so I would never make this mistake (unless it was a 5 gallon tub of cookie dough ice cream, in which case, yes I would). Don’t get caught up with the cheaper prices – because if half get’s thrown away, you’re not really saving any money.

7. Skimping on your gym membership:¬†Most people need serious motivation to work out frequently, and expensive gym memberships certainly do not help with this. Especially in NYC, I see a lot of people buy memberships to cheap gyms that have no good classes, gross people, and a grimy atmosphere. It’s no wonder they never work out. These same people are the ones who will then buy packages with a trainer ($100/session) or to spin or yoga studios ($30/class) since they hate their gym. Just doing one class a week at this rate ends up costing $120 – which is the extra money it would have cost to just join a great qauality gym like equinox that is more enjoyable to go to and offers all of those things for free.

Being frugal is a great quality, but sometimes if we let it override common sense, it just costs ourselves more. When something seems like a great deal, just make sure it’s a smart one!

5 Comments

  1. Great post. So much of this is true, especially your point about the gym. I know so many people who buy up packages to supplement a gym they don’t like. I pay a larger up front cost for my gym (Equniox) but get a lot of bang for my buck with classes including yoga. Plus I actually go to my gym and use my membership because I like the experience.

  2. I love love Equinox – the spin classes – the yoga (with either sarra or nadia) and violet zaki’s classes are the best. You don’t need a trainer when you have these guys. Totally worth the membership fee. I love you guy’s blog http://conquerthecityblog.com/ — what a great idea!

  3. Love #6 with the Brad and Angelina line…lol.

  4. It’s worth the extra money to me to pay the extra fee for a gym that has 24 hour access. I love Zumba classes, and I take them when I can, which isn’t as often as I’d like. Since I pay the extra fee (which is only about $10 a month at my gym), I can go in after regular hours and use the elliptical machine. I have to have a pass code, and have my fingers scanned to get access after hours, so it’s safe as well.

  5. Great post.

    Did I read in #6 “I don’t cook myself…yet ?? :)

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