20 Money Mistakes People Always Make More than Once the was originally published at Shebudgets.com
With the state of today’s economy, just about everyone has saving money on their mind. Everyone knows it’s great to get a deal, but behaviorally many consumers often make the same ” penny wise and pound foolish” money saving mistakes over and over. Money spent on something too cheap to be useful, or blindly stumbling from bargain to bargain can actually deplete your bank account faster than making careful, more expensive purchases.
Some of these mistakes are huge; yet some are just small almost imperceptible practices that add up over the long haul. The trick is being able to identify these habits that throw money down the drain from these so called “money saving” practices. Here are some of the worst mistakes made by those who are not all necessarily cheapskates, but do not weigh the real value of an item against the true cost–be it actual money, time, or accrued pain and suffering.
1. Flying Standby
Sure that bargain ticket seemed too good to be true–and you might get on the plane right away–but you could also end up having to spend the night in a bedbug ridden airport hotel after spending the whole day shifting in an uncomfortable plastic chair in the airport. You’ll never get those hours of your life back; however you will have empathy for sheep that are herded from place to place. Like the pain of childbirth, travelers rarely remember how truly awful the experience was as they brag about the great price they got on their vacation trip. They get another offer for a standby flight deal in their e-mail and they book it.
2. Being a Blindingly Loyal Customer
If you and your family has been with XYZ insurance company since forever, you may feel disloyal shopping for a better rate elsewhere. If you got a good rate in the beginning, but your premiums are heading upwards each year for no verifiable reason, it is wise to look around and see what else is out there. This goes for your auto mechanic, hairdresser, doctor, gardener or any one else who provides services that you use on a regular basis. The repeated mistake is being overcharged, but thinking that it’s rude or unkind to comparison shop under the misguided notion that you owe that provider your loyalty.
3. Cheap Toilet Paper
There are some personal items you just shouldn’t skimp on, and that especially includes items that make close contact with your skin. That four pack from the dollar store seems like a score; however, the amount you will have to use to clean yourself may clog up your toilet, costing you time with a plunger in hand. Bargain brand bathroom tissue is also scratchy and just getting the package open may require pliers. Somehow it’s hard to shell out the money for the better brand, so some keep buying the thin sheets of sandpaper. hoping they will just get used to it.
4. Going for that Great Credit Card Offer
A zero percent interest rate sends some consumers into paroxysms of pure joy, until you read that the rate is only temporary, and that so many conditions apply that you have to hire an interpreter with a magnifying glass to decipher the whole deal. This is especially true for consumers who have bad credit, due to a job loss or other circumstances that lowered their FICO score. Some credit card companies are in the business of targeting bad credit customers who are trying to make a fresh start, saying they will help you “improve your credit score”, by using their card. The interest rate suddenly zooms and the line of credit is so low that many can’t help but rack up over the limit fees, and late fees, putting them in a worse financial situation than before–and looking for another card to pay off the first one.
5. Going Shopping When Hungry
Going grocery shopping on an empty stomach is like being a lion running into a pack of slow goats. All that food makes you hungrier, and although you refrain from opening up a shrink wrapped package of steak and eating it raw, you make purchases with your stomach, not your head. If you have a long ride home, you end up buying junk food that you can open in the car and munch on the car–so much for your diet, and your food budget.
6. Being the Barter Sap
Bartering is a new take on an old way of friends helping friends. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours, and we all save some cash. Sometimes these agreements end up one sided, and pretty soon you’ve adopted a full grown adult. While cleaning the nasty grout from her shower tiles, you remind yourself that she did promise to help paint your kitchen or babysit your kids. It’s not going to happen–friends (or even relatives) like that will just tap you for more. Barter baiters just promise a fair exchange to get you to do stuff. Being a nice person, you won’t complain–and they count on that as they can smell as sap from a mile off.
7. Keeping Up Appearances
Going to expensive networking events when your business has hit the skids is not the way to put more money in your pocket. It seems like a great idea, but once at the event you just end up feeling envious of all of the success that surrounds you (whether they are faking it like you or not). The same goes for not letting friends in on your plight, in hopes that since they are rolling in it, they will help you find a job. You imagine that it will save money in the long run by investing in your future by keeping up your country club membership when you’re facing eviction.
8. Two Can Live as Cheaply as One?
The answer is no–they can’t. Having a roomie only works if they pick up their end of the expenses. That two bedroom apartment may not be a bargain if you have to give up a good chunk of your privacy. Getting a studio or one bedroom is probably the better option if you don’t want to have to split the cable bill that includes their pay per view addictions.
9. Cutting your Own Hair
Men especially will take one of those home haircut kits and go to town on their locks, going shorter and shorter, until they get an uneven buzz cut that gives them an “asylum patient” look, as opposed to military style hottie. Worse is when a mom decides to cut her children’s hair, having them go off to school with uneven bangs or bowl style cuts which will prompt endless teasing. Better to go to a chain hair cutting place for a few dollars than invest in an expensive hair cutting kit that will only lead to anguish.
10. Sharing your Vacation With Another Couple
Getting a great beachfront condo rental that you can