If your budget and your struggling to find out why it’s not working, it might be the fact that certain budget habits can actually be more destructive to your finances then helpful. Indeed, even the best intentions that you have for saving money can sometimes lead to financial problems.
That sounds like you, what you’d like to avoid sabotaging your own budget, some of the savings “tricks” below should probably be avoided. Enjoy.
The first trick is paying for coupons. While some savings websites can be excellent when you’re trying to find a deal, in many cases you end up getting less than you expected. For example, Coupon Clippers, Groupon and LivingSocial have lots coupons that can cost you hundreds of dollars but, if you don’t actually need the deal you’re buying, it might actually expire before you even get to use it. What you want to do is avoid getting any type of coupons deals for services or products that you’re not sure you going to need.
Another trick that you definitely should avoid is buying something just because it’s on sale. The thing is, buying items in bulk when you really need them is a great way to save but, if you get into the habit of buying things that you don’t need just because they’re on sale, that “great deal” isn’t saving money, it’s costing you and your checking account money. Frugality is more about value than consumption and, no matter what, you should always buy what you’re going to use, not something that’s only on sale.
One unfortunate trick is to create a budget that leaves them little or no room to breathe. In other words, when a special occasion like a birthday party, entertainment or drop-in guests arrive, you don’t have any “wiggle room” to spend a little extra money because your budget is too tight. Frankly, creating a budget that you can stick to that’s also based on your real life is what you should shoot for. Many times a budget that’s too tight ends up backfiring anyway and, after you splurge, you’re left trying to catch up.
This next trick gets people every single time, and that buying something that’s “cheap”. The reason that there’s an old adage that says “you get what you pay for” is that it’s true. If you cut corners by purchasing the cheapest possible appliances, clothing, household goods and so forth, you ‘ll probably end up replacing them sooner and spending more money than if you just purchased something of higher quality to begin with. Even if you’re on a tight budget, it’s best to think of value more than price and, if you can afford it, purchase something that will function better and last longer.
One of the biggest tricks that people use to save money is in an emergency fund but, if you have too much money in that fund, you’re probably losing money because it’s not getting as much interest as it should. It would probably be best to research other short-term savings options that will give you a better interest rate and still let you access your funds easily.
Finally there’s using store credit cards. Practically every major retailers in the United States has a store credit card that will get you a nice discount on the day that you open it. The fact is, getting a 10, 20 or even 30% discount might seem like a great deal, but most of these cards are extremely costly over time. Store branded credit cards have some of the highest interest rates of any credit card you can own, especially if you don’t pay the balance in full every month. If you use the card very sparingly and paid in full at the end of the month, it might be worth it, but be careful.