Money-saving Tips That Aren’t Worth Your Time

We love saving money. So it stands to reason that we also love money saving-tips… but only when they’re actually likely to help.

Unfortunately, not every piece of advice uploaded to the internet is going to be useful – and some of it can actually be damaging. So here are some tips that we think should be approached with caution (or avoided all together).

Don’t:

Avoid credit cards like the plague

No – despite popular wisdom, not all debt is bad. Sometimes well-meaning friends and relatives will tell you that you need to avoid using a credit card (or taking out contracts such as phone plans) so that you don’t risk running up a debt.

In reality, following this advice could leave you with a terrible credit score. That makes it difficult to get credit in the future, when you may need a mortgage or a car loan.

What to do instead:

Use a small amount of credit, responsibly.

Choose a regular bill or monthly expense and pay it using a credit card. Then, pay your credit card back in full each month. This way, you avoid paying interest or running up debt but still start building your credit history.


Lemon Water


Don’t:

Try to save money by fasting

Fad-dieting and fad-financial planning can both be bad ideas. So, when we saw the two being combined together alarm bells started to ring.

The idea is that you can save money by not eating one day a week, stripping away a seventh of your costs. We can understand why somebody with financial concerns might want to try this, but while fasting can be safe if it’s done under a doctor’s supervision or with certain precautions, it’s never something to do on a whim.

What to do instead:

Work out if you can reduce the cost of your food bills

If you eat out (or order in) several nights a week then that’s a great place to start. You could also consider switching from named brands to supermarket branded foods. The small amount saved on each item adds up over time.


Coffee


Don’t:

Stop buying treats

You’ll often hear that you should cut out your morning coffee, your magazine subscription or your lunch dates with friends – you know, whatever you do that brings joy to your life but isn’t technically essential.

The trouble is that cutting out the things you love is that it will leave you without the motivation to keep saving. That means you might slip into even worse habits. It’s also worth considering whether it’s worth being frugal if it means that you’re not enjoying life!

What to do instead:

Use treats to reward yourself

Instead of getting treats every day, use them to reward yourself for meeting goals (financial or otherwise). This way you can save some of the money, and get more satisfaction from the things that you do buy.

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Master of the budgets. Provider of the tips. Author and owner of Dumbfunded.co.uk.