10 Attempts to save money that can backfire

Every now and then, well-intentioned plans to save money simply fail.

You think you’re just following the savings book until it backfires. It’s when you try to be cheap that you end up expensive.

It happens to the best of us.

Here are 10 situations where trying to pinch pennies could cost you money.

10 Fail to Avoid Savings

1. Let meal prep go to waste

Preparing meals in advance means you won’t be tempted to eat junk food or order takeaway when you don’t feel like cooking. But there’s always the possibility of wasting a week’s worth of chopped veggies or a bowl of chicken breasts if they’ve gone bad or you can’t eat the same meal several days in a row.

That’s just throwing money in the garbage.

The same thing can happen when you try to be frugal Buy in bulk – But you end up throwing away half of what you bought because it’s too much.

treatment: Meal preparation A few days outside instead of a whole week. Store food properly and freeze what you won’t be eating soon. Take advantage of sauces and seasonings to add a variety of staples like chicken and rice.

2. Spend a fortune on dinner ingredients

Cooking at home is usually a much cheaper option than eating out at restaurants—except, of course, when you go overboard with groceries and get 10 unique ingredients for each recipe.

When you put it all together, you realize that you can dine outside after all.

treatment: Choose recipes with ingredients you already have at home or inexpensive recipes. If you need to buy new ingredients, make sure you can use them in many recipes.

3. Buy things only because they are for sale

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Sometimes, the thrill of saving money can cloud your judgment. You load your grocery cart with BOGO items, take clothes off the filter rack and buy Groupon deals—without thinking too much about whether you really need them or want them all.

You can easily end up blowing up deals and discounts chasing your budget.

treatment: Before you buy something that is for sale, ask yourself if it is the thing you really want or if you are only buying it because of the bargain. If the sale price is the normal price and there is no discount, do you still want it? Do you have a plan to actually use what you buy? Is it in your budget? It’s okay to miss a good deal sometimes.

4. Drive everywhere to find the lowest gas price

Sure, you could save 10 cents per gallon filling your tank at a gas station across town, but you’d be wasting gas getting there and back.

treatment: Use a gas price app, like GasBuddy, to find the cheapest fuel prices along the normal driving route. Take advantage of fuel rewards programs and discounted gift cards as other ways to do so Save money on gas.

5. Careless just to spend more money to go around

Car payments, insurance, gas, maintenance… it all adds up. It seems that giving up your vehicle can help you save.

However, if you call Uber every day and Rent a car At the end of every other week, those The costs may be more expensive.

treatment: Before you become careless, make a plan for how you will commute and what the costs will be. Find public transportation options in your area. Consider the use of cars or Ride a bike to work. If giving up your car isn’t the best option, you can still save money by swapping out your current car for one that’s more fuel efficient or comes with a lower payout.

6. Buying a used car without due diligence

You will lose money in depreciation just by driving a new car from its place. This is what we are always told.

Buying a used car isn’t much better, though, if you’re just driving away to have your check engine light come on. Buying used means that your car may not be in good condition. And if you buy from a shady seller and don’t take the time to really inspect the car and research its history, you could end up in a money pit.

treatment: when you Buying a used carWhere you shop is important. You can find certified used cars at legitimate dealerships that have been thoroughly vetted and may come with some type of warranty coverage. Check the Carfax report for accident history and past maintenance information. Do a thorough test drive and try to get your mechanic to check the car, if possible.

7. Sign up for free trials and forget to cancel

It makes sense for a frugal person to take advantage of the free trial offers. And in the first week or thirty days, everything is fine.

The problem arises when you forget it Cancel Free Trials الفت Before the free period ends and you end up paying for things you never intended to pay for.

treatment: If you can cancel a free trial right away and still use the service until the trial period ends, do so. If not, set calendar alerts to remind yourself to cancel before you get charged. Sign up for a free trial with a virtual credit card It is another way to avoid getting into the automatic payment system after the free trial period ends.

8. Lose time and money on DIY projects

A woman uses power tools to create DIY projects with wood.
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Let’s say you drop $20 on equipment and supplies at a craft store to make some home decor pieces that you can get at HomeGoods for $30.

You think you’re saving money – except that your completed project didn’t figure out anything like what you meant. It goes straight into the trash. On top of that, you’ve wasted hours trying to do it yourself, and we all know time is money. Of course, the bigger the project, the more money you could lose when doing it wrong.

treatment: Don’t overspend on supplies and ambitious household projects, you know What do you do it yourself vs it takes a professional..

9. Replacing the cable with a set of subscription services

I was tired of paying over $100 for cable, so I decided to finally cut the cord. But instead, you can subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Now, Showtime, Sling TV, and more — until what you pay for TV and movies exceeds your old cable bill.

treatment: Ask yourself what content really interests you and limit yourself to a few streaming services.

10. Get credit card rewards and get into debt

Rewards credit cards fuel you with perks like cashback or points to use on future purchases. Store cards communicate your promise to save a percentage of the discount each time you withdraw.

But if you have balance on these cards, what you pay back with interest can easily void rewards and savings.

treatment: check this out Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting a New Rewards Credit Card. If you already get a new card, treat it like cash and only charge what you can pay off.

Reporting from contributor Lindsey Simpson has been included in this article. Nicole Dow is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.

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