In the pursuit of saving money, living within a budget, and being cost-efficient, it’s common for individuals to seek out various strategies.
However, certain long-standing tips, despite their popularity, may not actually lead to significant savings in the long term.
“it’s cheaper to buy in bulk”
then half of the item goes to waste because of spoilage or freshness.
“Don’t use credit cards, use cash for everything.” – easy way to not have a great credit score when you need a loan. Use the cards and pay it off monthly.
My pet peeve is “you need to save 3 months of expenses in an emergency fund.” You actually need way more than that. Eight months to a year is recommended to sustain yourself during a recession. And anytime I look for a new job, it takes two months at least before I find something. I wouldn’t want to lie awake at night worrying that the last month is going to escape me before my paycheck arrives.
Going cheap on everything. You are not doing yourselves any favors by buying cheap appliances. Cheap appliances break easy and need to be replaced. When you buy something, make sure it lasts and your not throwing money away to replace it every couple of months.
Wash your dishes by hand. Yeah my dishwasher uses less power to heat the water and run a load than the hot water cylinder uses just to heat the water. It uses less water than a sink full and can do more dishes in that amount of water than I can. So saves me money there too as I have to pay for water.
Actual handy frugal tip incoming, scrape food off your dishes and then just load into the dishwasher. Do not rinse your dishes. Add dishwasher powder to the prerinse section as well as the normal wash section. Select a cycle with a prerinse start. Dishes come out perfectly clean. Use powder, not tablets. Powder is generally about the same price as tablets but will get you twice the amount of loads.
I’m in a high cost of living area and the “thrift stores” sell noticably worn t-shirts for $13.99.
They haven’t been thrifty for more than 8 years in my area.
People don’t account for quality or time at all. Yes I can clean my own house, mow my own lawn, fix whatever is broken, but all of that takes time to do it and it won’t be as good as some who does it for a living. You can always make more money so be frugal with time than money.
It’s like “okay I need to make my money go further somehow’ and people are like “stop buying coffee!” It’s like you really think that wasn’t the first thing to go? Really? It’s like when thin people tell me I could lose so much weight if I stopped drinking soda and are stunned or flat out don’t believe me when I say I don’t drink soda (and if I do it’s usually coke zero which isn’t great for you but isn’t the calorie bomb they’re imagining).
Delivery services. I do Walmart delivery all the time. I save on impulse purchases, it’s free, and the $10 tip saves me so much time and energy. Plus I can examine the price/weight in more detail.
Oh, and my kids can’t beg for stuff or sneak things in the cart.
Higher quality cost more. The cost tells you nothing about the quality, it’s better to look at the materials and how something was made.
Almost none of these comments are actually things that are blatantly wrong they may just not apply to some people. DIY, buying in bulk, Black Friday deals, finding quality items at thrift stores, are all things that tons and tons of people have had success with.
Clip grocery store name brand coupons to save money.
Except most of the things that have manufacturer’s coupons are high markup processed foods. Often another brand was a better buy than the coupon item. Sometimes a different size of the same product by the same manufacturer that didn’t qualify for the discount was a better buy.
Buying generic and cooking from scratch are usually cheaper.
People still parrot the “buy a cheap laser printer from Brother” talking point like it’s 2005. You don’t need a printer at all, just go to a copy shop and spend the 30 cents the one time in a decade you’ll actually need to print something.
That earning more money means you lose all the gains to taxes. Nope, you always will take home more money if you get a raise. Where a raise does adversely affect a person is if the extra income tips them out of a government benefit, such as below x income receive this tax credit or that assistance program. But you have to usually be pretty low income to get those anyway.
DIY. Not everyone has thousands of dollars worth of equipment around and the skills to build something cheap.
People reusing plastic containers for food. No, that is not designed to be reused for ten years
Eating out is just as expensive as grocery shopping these days. It varies, but the price per meal of cooking at home is much cheaper
Making your own laundry detergent. It’s performative frugality and a tremendous waste of time. Powdered detergent is cheap.
“tell the dealership you have cash in hand. They’ll give you an amazing out-the-door price!”
Haven’t seen this to be true for the past 10 years. Dealerships make their money off of loans and the APR they can rake you over the coals for. They don’t care if you have cash in hand. The point is to sell a loan, warranties, and future service
People say that a plant based diet is too expensive. That’s only true if you are constantly buying all the plant based substitutes. If you’re just getting normal basic food like legumes and grains and veggies and stuff like that, it’s a lot cheaper than buying meat.
A lot of people don’t save the amounts of money they believe they are saving. Pointing this out to them, even using numbers and math, can even make them angry.