Money mistakes have happened to all of us at one point. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make thinking they are saving money when in fact they are spending more than they are saving.
Need to Save Money? Avoid These 10 Money Mistakes
Saving money should be a priority for all of us. Over the years I’ve made my mistakes on not saving money, spending too much money, and impulse decisions. Saving money shouldn’t be a chore, but something you feel good about. If you’ve made money mistakes over the years thinking you’re saving money, take a step back and reanalyze where your money is going. Your savings account should be growing, not shrinking by bad money habits. I’ve listed several money mistakes many people make thinking they are getting a better deal. Thank you to Coupon Sherpa for sponsoring this post on money saving tips!
Skimping on retirement savings. Contributing to your retirement is key to working for the rest of your life and gives you peace of mind! If your employer contributes up to a certain percentage of your salary, you should at least match that contribution to avoid leaving money on the table.
Stocking up at the dollar store. Buying from the dollar store is a smart move on select items (greeting cards, party supplies, serving trays, etc), but can lead to overspending when “it’s just a dollar” justifications result in impulse/unnecessary spending. Many people sleep on the dollar store, thinking they just have junk for sale. Not true! You can find a ton of great deals at the dollar store, AND you can even use coupons to help you save even more money. Be sure to read my tips on 20 things you should always buy at the Dollar Store!
Signing up for store credit cards. Stores offer 10-20% savings on initial purchases when you sign up for credit cards, plus rewards and discounts after that. However, these cards encourage spending and have low credit limits and high APRs, which is often bad for your credit score.
Skipping emergency fund contributions. Placing emergency fund contributions on the back burner is a bad budgetary move. Growing your savings should be a priority so when the unexpected happens, you have at least some cash to deal with it. Last year we had to renovate our kitchen. We knew we had a small water problem, and figured the repairs would be minimal. However, when the contractor started pulling the floor up to replace the boards, he found a bigger problem. Our small water problem was suddenly a bigger problem filled with mold. We ended up pulling up the entire floor, and installing a brand new kitchen. Having a savings account for emergency funds was a HUGE lifesaver!
Paying only the minimum. Paying only the minimum payment on debt increases the amount you owe (through interest) and extends the amount of time you’re in debt. Make it a priority to put more towards debt payments including credit cards, student loans, and mortgage payments.
Being brand (or store) loyal. Shopping exclusively at Walmart or Target may seem like a smart money move, but it’s better for your budget to shop around. I am somewhat brand loyal to certain items. I use coupons to help me save on those items or wait for a sale. However, there are a lot of items I have switched from being brand loyal to just buying what’s on sale. Don’t get trapped in the brand is always better. On some items, being a certain brand IS better, but this is not always the case.
Buying the lowest-priced item. Avoid buying the cheapest item to save money, as doing so will likely result in replacing that item again and again. Instead, read reviews and buy the item with the best value. To save money, use Coupon Sherpa – Coupons & Promo Codes to find in-store and online coupons for discounts ranging from 10 to 75 percent.
Putting off maintenance. Whether it’s maintenance on your vehicle or getting your teeth cleaned every six months, avoiding these appointments to save money will cost you later on! Make sure you’re budgeting for these expenses to avoid bigger problems in the future.
Eating poorly. Processed foods and fast-food fare are cheap and quick to produce, but like skipping maintenance will cost you in health care costs down the road. Invest in whole foods and shop in season for fresh fruits and vegetables to avoid costly medical bills. Be sure to read some of my tips on 10 Cheap & Healthy Foods To Buy on a Tight Budget.
Buying everything in bulk. Buying food and household items in bulk can be a money-savvy move, but you must compare unit prices to determine if you’re getting a good deal. Sometimes the sales offered by your grocer result in better deals, while Amazon and even discount retailers like TJMaxx will have better deals on home goods.
Hopefully, these tips will help you avoid those money mistakes when it comes to saving money! You can find more ways to save by checking out some of my frugal tips below: