I have grown up thinking I was an expert for having a bunch of money saving habits. It wasn't until now that I realized I am actually losing money by doing them! Here are six money saving tips that might actually be losing you money.
1. Turning off the lights when you leave a room.
It's common sense to turn off a light when you leave the room to save money on your electricity bill, but apparently it might be costing you more. If you use fluorescent lights (CFL's) turning them off for less than 15 minutes, and turning them back on again will cost you more money than just leaving them on. So, if you plan to go back into that room within 15 minutes, keep the lights on.
Also, if you don't already use florescent lights, you should probably switch. They use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs and can last up to 10 times longer.
Couponing can be beneficial sometimes, but you need to take a step back and ask yourself how much your time is worth. Couponing can be a very long process, which can only save you a few dollars in the long-run. So is three hours of work really work five dollars in savings?
Also, you might end up spending money on things you wouldn't usually buy, costing you even more money.
3. Topping off your gas tank.
Even when our gas tank is filled, a lot of us, (including myself) give it a few extra pumps, so it's really full. Apparently, those few last pumps actually just stay in the hose so you end up buying gas for the next customer.
4. Cancelling your credit cards.
Cancelling your credit cards is obviously better than doing too much spending on them, but it is best just to keep them in a drawer, than to actually cancel them. Cancelling your cards is bad for your credit because when you close an account, you lose the credit line attached to it.
This is bad because if you ever need a loan, banks will look at how much of your available credit you actually use. So, closing an account will lower your available credit and therefore make you look like you're using a lot of your current credit.
It is best to have a few credit cards that are active but that you don't use. This way your available credit will look huge compared to what you actually use.
5. You book flights off of travel sites instead of airlines.
We have always known to book any trips you may be taking on travel sites, because they have the lowest prices. Although this used to be true, you might want to do a little shopping around before you automatically go to a travel website.
Travel sites having this reputation that they are the cheapest, has forced airline websites to compete with them by lowering their prices. Many carriers now offer lowest-price-guaranteed fares on their own websites, and remove the booking fees that the big travel sites often add on to your reservation.
6. You fall for grocery store promotions.
This is something grocery stores hope you fall for, and how they make a lot of money off of you. Never fall for something just because it has the price on a big red sticker. They are just trying to draw your attention, and hope you don't realize that is the normal price for the item.
Also, the "limit of five per customer" is usually a hoax. They say this to make you think that this product is high in demand, and that you have to have it. It often even leads to you actually buying the five even if you weren't even planning on buying any in the first place. Don't let grocery stores fool you.