Saving money isn’t always easy. In fact, there have been a few times where I’ve wasted money in my efforts to save money! Don’t make these same mistakes!
Most people like to save money. And I’m no different. Especially when I was trying to aggressively pay off my debt. Every extra penny I saved was a penny I could put towards reducing my loan balance.
But sometimes in my efforts to save money, I would waste money. Yeah, you read the right. Saving money can come with a hefty price tag if you don’t do it right.
Here are some of the ways I tried to save money…but ended up wasting money:
1. Starting a garden
I always buy cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers at the grocery store – each and every week.
I thought it would be so great if I could grow these vegetables and save $10/week at the grocery store.
Turns out, it’s nearly impossible for me to keep a plant alive. I do not have a green thumb.
My garden was a huge flop. I didn’t save any money on vegetables and I ended up wasting a lot of money on gardening supplies.
2. Buying “must have” kitchen utensils and spices
One of the first ways that I tried to save money was to stop eating at restaurants and start cooking at home.
I may have gotten one or two uses out of some of the gadgets, but for the most part, this effort to save money ended up costing me a bit.
3. Buying cheap shoes
Silly, silly me. When I got my first job, I needed professional looking shoes. So I bought cheap, semi-nice looking shoes.
It was the worst. First, all cheap shoes are incredibly uncomfortable. Second, they fall apart in months. All of my shoes would last about 2-3 months, and then the skin (of the shoe, sometimes my own skin though) would peel off. I’d then be forced to get new shoes.
I didn’t realize how dumb this was until a few years after I started working. Now, I buy nice shoes (they cost about 3 times as much as my cheap shoes), but they last sooooo much longer and are soooo much more comfortable.
I wasted a lot of money on cheap shoes back in the day.
4. Buying cheap clothes
Just like buying cheap shoes, I’d by cheap clothes and they would also just fall apart. I would walk around with loose, unraveling thread on my clothes. I’d have to buy so many cheap clothes.
Now, I buy much nicer clothing (well, I’m exaggerating a little…they aren’t that nice), but only a few pieces. This actually saves much money (and time, because you aren’t having to replace clothes all the time).
5. Doing DIY projects
Do you ever see something in a store and say, “oh, I could make that myself and save so much money.” Well, I pretty much say that all the time.
But the truth is, rarely could I actually make it myself, and I definitely wouldn’t be saving any money.
I have so, so many examples of expensive DIY projects that I’ve done to “save money”…I always underestimate how much it costs to buy the materials AND tools.
6. Buying stuff in bulk
You always hear how buying stuff in bulk saves you money. But I think everyone has bought stuff in bulk and then realized that they don’t like what they’ve purchased.
It’s definitely happened to me – the 5 pounds of strawberries that just don’t taste right, the 2-year supply of vitamins that make you sick, the 10 pack of sunscreen that has expired. You get the picture.
Buying in bulk is sometimes a waste of money.
7. Choosing a yearly membership instead of monthly
Yearly memberships are always cheaper than monthly memberships when you assume that you will use the whole year. But let’s get serious, it’s hard to commit to things for a year.
Yearly gym memberships, magazine subscriptions, software subscriptions, etc. may sound good during Month 1, but aren’t being used during Month 12.
8. Buying the early bird ticket price
Early bird tickets are usually such a great deal. Whether you are attending a conference, concert, or simply just getting super early plane tickets. But who can actually plan that far ahead of time?
Sometimes the ticket goes unused and your “great deal” ended up costing you a pretty penny.
How to avoid wasting money while trying to save money
It’s pretty simple:
- Choose quality over quantity
- Make sure you really want, need, and will use the item
- Don’t get suckered in by great marketing pushing a “great deal”
- Have a budget….and stick to it! Sign up in the box below to get some awesome budgeting printables!
What have you accidentally wasted money on while trying to save money?