People are crazy about money, and saving money, and… well… people are just plain crazy in general. How can you tell if someone’s crazy? Well, they might offer up some of the following ‘money saving tips’.
Here are the 10 worst ways people try and save a buck:
‘Sleep in airports instead of getting a hotel’
This is insane to me, but there are tons of people that follow this site. SleepingInAirports.net is your one-stop place for travel-based-vagrancy tips. From their website:
it may sound a little cheap and degrading at first
It is. Stop it. Unless the PolarVortexTM has got you stuck out East, take yourself a bed and actually enjoy your vacation.
‘Buy EVERYTHING in bulk’
Warehouse clubs are great for a lot of things (free samples, playing hide and seek, getting a 24-pack of underwear), but people can really go overboard trying to shop there to save money.
If you’re young, eat out lots, or have a small (or non-existent) at-home family, buying anything perishable in bulk is a waste of time and cash. Sure, you can save $0.34/litre on mayo, but you might need to be buying it by the oil drum. Plan a few meals, buy what you can eat, and then you’ll actually save some money.
‘Cut your own hair – barbers are expensive!’
I’m putting this here because I’ve done it myself…terribly. Cutting your own hair is a bad idea. There are exceptions to this rule (really talented amateur-barber-savants, and dudes with buzz cuts), but unless you’re slapping a bowl on your head for a 90s party, you’re gonna have a bad time.
Cutting your hair could save you money on a trip to the barber… but your hat budget is really going to explode.
‘Only use free condiments from restaurants’
****Unless you’re a connoisseur of Hobo’s Tomato Soup, you can probably spring for the condiments of your choice at home. This goes double for toilet paper. You might be able to save cash by grabbing that roll of 1-ply from the McDonald’s bathroom, after getting a handful of salt/pepper/McChicken sauce, but you’re really just spending your dignity.
‘Drive across the border to get cheap gas’
USA! USA! USA! The land of the free has great deals on gas, booze, eagles and fireworks, but you need to consider the gas you’ll spend on the way down south and the opportunity cost of all the time that will take you.
‘If it’s on-sale, you’re saving money’
There’s a reason why almost any major store you see has non-stop ‘sales’. People love to save money, even when they didn’t intend to spend any to start with. Beware of discounts that are too good to pass up.
‘Just pay the minimum on your credit card bill’
****hahahahhahahahaha. (Please don’t do this. And please tell me you know why this is a bad idea to ‘save money’).
‘If you can Google it, you can do it yourself’
****There’s a reason why doctors, lawyers, contractors, and many other professions train for a long time before going out into the field – they provide services that are important, and potentially dangerous. Just because you found a wiki-how article on installing a new roof onto your house, doesn’t mean you’ll be dry the next time it rains.
‘Insurance isn’t important if you’re careful’
Look, nobody wants to pay for insurance. It’s one of the most annoying parts of being an adult. It’s boring – and sometimes truly expensive – but getting the lowest form of coverage isn’t a great way to save in the long run.
To SFW paraphrase Chris Rock, they shouldn’t call it ‘insurance’; they should call it ‘in case sh#t’. In case it happens, you need to be ready for it. Whether you get into a crash, or your apartment gets broken into, or your dishwasher lasagna explodes (keep reading), you’ll want to have some piece of mind.
‘Save money on electricity, by combining appliance use (cook lasagna in the dishwasher)’
****Gross. This is a next level Extreme Cheapskates maneuver. I remember a friend telling me that they had seen an episode where one of the Cheapskates cooked lasagna in their dishwasher because it allowed them to save money on utility bills.
Mythbusters tackled this topic, and… it actually works. But the only way this could put you in a meaningfully positive financial direction, is if it wins you a bet vs a skeptical cook.