25 Cost-Cutting Habits That Are Actually A Blind Waste Of Money

Published 4 months ago

Life is rarely straightforward, and that includes saving money. Opting for a cheaper couch might seem like a smart move initially, but it can end up costing you in the long haul when it wears out prematurely. Conversely, investing more upfront, such as buying items in bulk, can often lead to savings over time.

Living frugally can sometimes feel like navigating a maze, so let’s shift our focus today to what pitfalls to avoid. Redditors have been sharing stories of instances where they’ve “tripped over dollars to save a dime,” so we’ve compiled some of their advice and anecdotes below.

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#1 Constantly having to get new hires and train them but they leave after around a year because you don’t pay them well. So you never have loyal or skilled employees. Well paid employees are more loyal and long term employees are more skilled.

Image source: maverickhunterpheoni, Desola Lanre-Ologun

#2 Buying cheap clothes. I went to Walmart and bought a knit shirt. A year later it stretched out and it’s only good for when I have a dirty job to do. Meanwhile, I went to a nice stand spent 3x as much for a shirt made of better fabric and it still looks good 10 years later.

Image source: Munchkin-M

#3 My ex’s dad wanted a truck bed cover. He wasn’t Internet savvy so he asked me to look into it. They don’t make em for that truck, but I found a website who would do it custom for about $500. He said naw, that’s too much. So he went out and bought a $300 cover for another truck and $100 in paint and other materials. Tried to cut it and reshape it so it would fit, and couldn’t make it work. Scrapped that project and built another out of wood and some type of heavy duty canvas. That one cost around 250 and he ended up scrapping it too because it was way too heavy. All told he spent almost $700 trying to save $500 and wound up with nothing to show for it.

Image source: imfamousoz

#4 When I was in my early 20s and didn’t know about things like frozen pipes, I turned the heat off when we left for the weekend. We returned to water all over the floor, a washer destroyed, and, well… A major life lesson learned

Image source: haunting_coast_8910

#5 I had a boss stop everyone from working for 2 hours to look for something he lost. The lost item was spray mount and at the time cost less than $6. Seriously dude, just go buy another one. Lost $200 in billable hours for a $6 replaceable item.

Image source: jodiarch, Israel Andrade

#6 My company decided that the way to solve our quarterly budget issue was to fire the highest paid support representatives, instead of curtailing the CEO’s pay that was 200% higher than anyone elses and a 25% reduction would have saved these jobs.

Image source: footinmymouth, Christin Hume

Guess what. The most SENIOR repa got paid more because THEY KNEW WTF THEY WERE DOING. We increased churn by 2x, making the next quarter deficit EVEN WORSE.

Guess if they learned their lesson, folks. Guess.

#7 My dad used to take my brother and I the BWW every Monday. He’d pay for wings and beers for the three of else. It was at least a hundred bucks a week he was spending. One day he asked for more napkins and the waiter said he wasn’t allowed to. They were trying save money by reducing the amount of napkins each table got. We’ve never been back.

Image source: piper33245, Hannah Busing

#8 My father in law driving all over creation saving $0.04 on bananas or $0.49 on noodles. He spends more in gas by far than he saves on anything else. I understand being alert about sales, using coupons, and price matching, etc. but this approach has always seemed unwise to me.

Image source: ThisIsTheNewSleeve, engin akyurt

#9 Friend of mine briefly lived with a guy who burned candles at night to cut the electric bill. My friend moved out after the dope managed to set fire to the coffee table and he still wanted to keep using the candles all night.

Image source: BelmontIncident, Rebecca Peterson-Hall

#10 Went to Las Vegas because the flight was basically free.

Image source: Realityhrts, Oskar Kadaksoo

#11 Driving around for cheap gas.

Image source: Augustus58, Vladyslav Tobolenko

#12 That guy who unplugged his fridge for a 2 week vacay, and all his food went bad and his fridge was full of mold and got ruined, all to save like a dollar in electricity.

Image source: dav06012, nrd

#13 Stayed at a hotel further away from Disneyland, ended up paying more than the difference in Uber fares.

Image source: aokaroiz, Marten Bjork

#14 I used to manage a bar and grill. One time we had a mandatory meeting that brought all the employees in during off hours and the bar owner spent a half an hour telling us to try and get the pens back from the patrons who borrowed them to get the phone number of the person they wanted to hook up with. . Back before smart phones, this is how it was done. I was thinking that we were paying our employees about 100$ to talk about pens that I could get at the office store for about 5$.

Image source: MattockMan, lilartsy

#15 A relative ignoring a small upstairs bathroom leak rather than paying a plumber. Then years later having to pay to replace the entire bathroom floor AND a major section of her kitchen ceiling before she can sell her house.

Image source: TheLuckyWilbury, Lotus Design N Print

#16 My mom wanted to renovate our roof but did not think professional contractors were worth the money..so she hired some guy from a local church and paid him under the table.

Image source: Shrek1onDVD, Zohair Mirza

A storm came the following weekend and it rained inside our house. Cost more to replace everything than it would have to have gotten a professional roof installation.

#17 I had a neighbor offer to pay me $200 to clean his apartment when he moved out so he could get his $150 deposit back

Image source: Ok-Eggplant-4875, Anton

#18 I know a guy who built a house in the county and to save $2k he got a small septic tank instead of the large one.

Image source: DorvidBorgie, Mélissa Jeanty

Well, now he has to get the thing emptied like twice a year,
at the same price as the larger one that needs to be emptied every 3-5 years.

#19 Spending a ton of time to do something yourself instead of paying for a service/good that could do it easily/instantaneously. I know it’s technically saving money to do the thing yourself, but time has value and some frugal people forget that.

Image source: Own_Kaleidoscope_415, George Pastushok

#20 Sneaking around with no auto insurance and then having to get it out of impoundment after paying a ticket and buying insurance…not me thankfully but it’s a thing

Image source: Electrical_Feature12

#21 Probably mentioned elsewhere, but here it is again. If you’re living alone, it makes *no* sense to buy the bigger version just because it’s cheaper per ounce/pound/liter/ml whatever than the smaller one *if it is going to go bad before you use it all!!* Because then you’ve wasted 5 dollars instead of using 3 effectively.

Image source: scummy_shower_stall, Viki Mohamad

#22 People who don’t understand the progressive tax system and turn down raises because “it’ll put me on a higher tax bracket.”

Image source: SardauMarklar, rupixen

#23 Adding more things to your cart to hit the free shipping minimum

Image source: 1kiki09, Claudio Schwarz

#24 Our very large company decided to “save money” by letting go of the cleaning people (paid $25/hr) because each staff member (paid 30-250/hr) could do the work for each of their own offices (trash removal, etc).

Image source: Mydoglovescoffee, Gil Ribeiro

#25 My former employer had a policy that you had to take the cheapest flight available. We’d put hourly employees on flights with 2 stops and save $200… Then pay them time and a half sitting in airports all day. It cost more but the people who accounted for travel kept costs down on their metrics, payroll was on different books.

Image source: Particular_Ticket_20, Anete Lūsiņa

They had a similar rule for car rentals. Unless you were in a group you had to get the smallest car available because it was usually cheaper. It got stupid when you’d get a bigger car for the same price and then you’d have to fill out a report on why you violated the travel policy. It got really dumb because if you paid and expensed it they wouldn’t audit the expenses. I’d just put an SUV on my card and get reimbursed. On the company card you were stuck with the compact car.


Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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cost cutting, Frugal, frugal habits, frugal tips, money, money saving
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