Nearly anywhere you look, you can find advice on the best ways to save money; shop with a list; save your change; pay yourself first out of every paycheck. But money experts warn consumers about a few of the worst ways to try to save money.
- Skimping on Medical Visits – Preventive healthcare may be covered by your insurance. But even if it’s not, paying a copay is a small price to pay to make sure your health is on track. Otherwise, you could develop serious health issues that will be more expensive to treat in the long run.
- Skipping an Oil Change – Your car needs preventive care, too. They need an oil change every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, according to AAA. Skipping this routine service can lead to more costly car repairs down the line.
- Buying a Cheap Mattress – Sleep has many health benefits, so invest in a mattress that gives you a restful night. Cheap mattresses leave owners with a backache and have a shorter lifespan than mid- and high-priced mattresses.
- Not Contributing to Your 401(k) – It can be painful to part with a piece of your paycheck, but not contributing to your 401(k) is hurting your future, and if your company offers an employer match, not contributing means you’re leaving free money on the table.
- Eating too Much Fast Food – Ordering off the dollar menu is tempting when you’re trying to save money, but making fast food a major part of your diet offers health risks including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Cook in more, choosing lean proteins and veggies.
- Buying Everything at the Dollar Store – A dollar store is a great place to find deals on paper goods, cleaning supplies and more, but for some items, like sunscreen, power strips, toys and meat, quality really does matter—and you’re better off paying more.
- Skipping Credit Card Payments – It’s tempting now and then when you need money for something else. But skipping a payment can not only lead to paying more in interest, but it can ding your credit score as well.