People Share What They Do To Save Money That's Actually Losing Them Money

Kasia Mikolajczak
person holding a savings jar
Unsplash | Towfiqu barbhuiya

You guys know that I'm pretty frugal. But even so, the current economic climate puts me to the test. And I can't be alone in that. So I figured that you, too, might appreciate the fact that being thrifty and finding ways to pay less for everyday goods is the best way to go.

However, as it turns out, sometimes the idea of being "thrifty" can backfire, and you can end up spending more than you have bargained for. Here are some examples people shared on Reddit.

Toilet Paper

bunch of toilet papers lying around
Unsplash | Kev Bation

"Cheap, single-ply toilet paper. You end up having to use way more just to get the same effect of the good stuff."

- u/[deleted]

I think everyone knows that, but sadly some think of the good stuff as too much of a splurge. It is not! I assure you.


row of batteries
Unsplash | Roberto Sorin

"They don't last, they don't work well, and many of them are duds. When I was in high school, I always, always listened to my discman. One day the batteries died so I walked up to the gas station and chose between the Duracell batteries and the bronze-colored batteries. I bought the cheaper no-names and they died before the day was over. And I had to go through social studies without music. I learned two things that day; WWI history, and not to buy cheap batteries."

- u/lazarus870

Haha! That's right.

This Cheapskate

Unsplash | Johnny Briggs

"I knew a fellow who owned one of the most expensive houses in town, but was too cheap to run his swimming pool filter except when he was actually swimming. With virtually no filtration, the water would get thick with debris and algae. He would then by stuff to kill the algae, but then he would have water full of dead algae. And the crud would stiff on the pool bottom, making it very hard to clean off. He spent way more on chemicals than he would have spent on electricity. The owner of this cement pond was a retired rocket scientist."

- u/rylos


This Common Sense

man saying "that makes sense."
Giphy | CBC

"In many cases, buying a name-brand product with a coupon is *still* more expensive than buying the store-brand. Or, buying something just because it's on sale, but not necessarily because you need it."

- u/dogandcatinlove

Absolutely, right!

These Travel Busters

man sitting at the airport lounge

"Travel and times: A lot of people take the cheapest flight they can find, but to me, saving 50 bucks on a $500 ticket isn't worth a 7 am flight or a red eye."

- u/ironoctopus

This is exactly why I don't travel in the morning. I need my beauty sleep.

Extended Warranty

Suv on the road surrounded by nature
Unsplash | Sven D

"You think you are saving cash on the off chance the product you bought doesn't hold on and you need repairs, but I don't know anybody who has ever been happy about this choice.

"On the opposite end of the spectrum, car insurance for rental cars. My father and his colleagues used to travel the world and rent cars for several weeks at a time. It would only take one car accident in all those years of renting cars to justify the cost. Many of these rentals were for off-road use. The rookies thought to save cash passing on the insurance and would eventually shell out thousands on repair."

- u/f_ranz1224

Do you get it now?

This Lifestyle Choice

Eugene Levy saying "Damn right."
Giphy | CBC

"Buying a big cheap house far from your common destinations. You will pay with time, petrol, housework, sleep, your relationships, and/or your career. Instead: 1. Buy or rent a small house with a 10-30 minute commute. 2. Let happiness ensue."

- u/TomasTTEngin

This is a great point everyone needs to consider.

Free Cellphone Deals

hand holding a cellphone facing the camera
Unsplash | Psk Slayer

"Mobile phone contracts with a free iPhone etc. You think you're getting a good deal with a free phone but with 35 pounds a month contact for 2 years, they really screw you."

- u/faixa_rua

I've been telling people this for years. Somehow it goes in one ear and comes out the other, haha.

Doing The Dishes

dishwasher shelf
Unsplash | Mohammad Esmaili

"Doing the dishes by hand vs. using a dishwasher. The dishwasher requires a lot less water, time and energy."

- u/mabimbo

Okay, I have to admit I didn't realize that. I've never owned a dishwasher, so it always seemed to me like such a waste.

This Not-So-Good Deal

Jimmy Fallon saying "Well, well, well."
Giphy | The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

"Justifying the purchase of anything solely because it's a 'good deal.' I hear this misconception all the time. If you spend $100 on shoes, even if you bought them at 99% off, you're still out $100. You haven't saved a penny, and that'll be a real problem if you needed that $100 to pay your utility bills."

- u/OneJD

That's right!

Leasing Vs. Buying A Car

blue car in the parking lot
Unsplash | Mathieu Renier

"Leasing a car instead of buying one. I'm not gonna get into the specifics but it's pretty much always more costly."

- u/nuzz5555

"Depends on your outlook. Many advisers consider a car a wasted purchase to buy if you're frequently buying a new car because the cost of payments are typically lower when leasing. Down payments for a lease are often easily under $2000 instead of over $5000 if you're buying.

"There's a lot of research and articles about which is more cost effective based on your lifestyle. Have a look around. "Frugal" doesn't need to be prohibitively cheap, but instead getting the most out of your dollar in your chosen lifestyle."

- u/[deleted]

Third-Party Travel Booking Sites

person looking at the airport screen
Unsplash | Erik Odiin

"Surprised I haven't seen this yet; using third-party hotel booking sites. The sites guarantee you a room and a price but not the type of room you requested. Calling the hotel directly will not only guarantee the room you want but often they beat the price of the websites. On my last trip, a particular site favored by an Enterprise captain quoted $129 a night, when I called the hotel they gave me $79 a night."

- u/lurch350z

Okay, confession time — this is what I do when I travel.

This Personal Must

doctor talking to a patient
Unsplash | Accuray

"Not going to the doctor/dentist! Wellness checkups are important. Your prognosis will always be better if something is caught early on."

- u/castrator_gator

Even though you have an upfront cost, it's still worth it in the end, both in money and health.

This Real Life Fact

man building a roof
Unsplash | Josh Olalde

"All you want it done cheap? or do you want it done right?"

- u/firephoxx

I can believe that. I even know many people in the construction business, and they all say the same thing. I've seen examples of cutting corners, and it isn't pretty, folks.

This Penny-Pinching Cycle

Unsplash | Siora Photography

"I once watched a show about extreme penny pinchers. One episode depicted a man who spent about 3 hours a day riding his bicycle or walking around looking for dropped change around pay phones, gumball dispensers, etc. The whole time I couldn't help but think that even a minimum-wage job would yield him more capital for his time, especially once you factor in bicycle tubes and shoes. In general, people of this nature fail to realize that the benefit of having money is its positive influence on your quality of life. When your quality of life suffers in order to save money, you've completely reversed your priorities to a mind-boggling level."

- u/black_spring

I can see what this person is getting at here.

This Ultimate Dream

Unsplash | Sieuwert Otterloo

"'Rent is throwing money down the drain.' Owning a home is not always smart. It can be, but not always. It's not just the house cost, but costs in taxes, interest, insurance, repairs, maintenance, etc. Then there are opportunity costs. I know folks who can't move until they sell, and can't take better jobs cuz they can't move. A house can be a big anchor in some contexts."

- u/Illah

Hmm, I haven't thought of it that way.

This Math

baby feet in diapers
Unsplash | Ignacio Campo

"Cloth diapers. You still have to buy special (expensive) detergent, and run so many loads in the washing machine. I worked it out when we started cloth diapering 3+ years ago, and it cost the same as if we just did disposable diapers. Plus all the TIME put into washing/drying/assembling. I like cloth diapering, I do recommend it, but I hate when it gets lauded as a cheap alternative."

- u/yampuffs

Oh, wow!

This Ridiculous Advice

plants in a greenhouse
Unsplash | Thomas Verbruggen

"There was a sub about how to budget food/living expenses. And the ideas that people had were ridiculous and required you to be financially well off enough to facilitate their idea of what saving money is. I don't think I received advice from anyone who knew what it was like to be poor, or actually truly need to responsibly budget their funds. One guy wanted me to plant a garden to grow some carrots or other veg. I explained that I have a small apartment, and that carrots are a dollar for a big bag. He actually got uppity with me and became a total [expletive] when I explained that I live in a small apartment in the middle of the biggest city in Canada. There is no benefit to turning half my apartment into a garden so I can grow five bucks worth of veggies in a few months' span. I can't just go outside and plant vegetables. It's also cold here 9 months out of the year. I got berated out of the sub after pointing this kind of [expletive] out numerous times."

- u/[deleted]

This one takes the cake, no?

Wow! Doesn't all this make you think?

Pam Beesly from The Office saying "That's a really big decision."
Giphy | The Office

It sure does me. I feel like a lot of these points come from stereotypical thinking. Many people get in over their heads when it comes to trying to live a perfect life. But where did common sense go? This is why I always reconsider every decision I make in life, especially when it's a big one, like moving or buying a house.