8. Spending on fast fashion.
Buying clothes and shoes at incredibly low prices often means you’re compromising on something else. Aside from the ethical issues surrounding fast fashion, the inexpensive clothing may wear out sooner, or you might rationalize getting rid of clothes sooner because of the price. On shopping for cheap clothes, Quartz writer Marc Bain says in his shopper’s manifesto, “That price tag isn’t telling the whole story. Even a gorgeously tailored black dress isn’t worth much to you if you already have 10 just like it. A $15 t-shirt is no bargain if it’s worn out after a few washes. And those jeans on sale aren’t worth $40 if you’ll wear them just twice before consigning them to the back of your closet.”
9. Skimping on groceries.
While it may seem cost effective to not buy foods you really want at the grocery store, buying things you don’t want to eat could prompt you to waste more food (and money along with that). Furthermore, if you’re not cooking a somewhat satisfying meal at home, you’re more likely to buckle and go out to eat.
10. Not contributing to a retirement account so you can keep the cash.
Keeping as much of your salary as you can may seem appealingly frugal, but it could put you at a financial disadvantage later on. If you contribute $5,000 of your income to a 401(k), you may have the option for a company to match that and you get to put the money away without paying taxes on it. However, if you kept that $5,000, you’d only be taking home about $3,500, assuming you’re paying about 30% to taxes. According to NerdWallet, the IRS’ maximum 401(k) contribution allowance this year is $18,000 for those under 50, and 24,000 for those over 50.
11. Capitalizing on promotional rates for your utilities.
When you’re shopping around for a new provider, rates can seem miraculously reasonable because of the promotional rates being offered to you. However, there is nearly always a caveat that doesn’t appear until 10 months later when your promotional rate ends and your internet bill goes up $15 a month. At this point, so many have fallen victim to these promotional rates (myself included) that there are now heaps of forums on how to keep your promotional rate, or fight to get your bills back down after they surge.