Great article over at Wisebread recently that discussed 10 questionable methods for saving money. While these tactics will certainly save you a few bucks, they may be a sign that you’re taking frugality too far. Remember, money isn’t everything…you need to find a balance in life.
Below I’ve listed a few of my favorite money-saving tactics from Wisebread along with my own thoughts on each…
Asking for water and then taking soda
Many fast food joints allow you to fill up your own drink at the beverage machine. You can save a couple bucks if you ask for free water and then take soda instead, but it is dishonest. I once saw a woman pull a cup out of her purse and fill it up without even thinking twice. I guess people do some strange things in the name of frugality.
I’ve already posted here about my distaste for extreme couponing. Life is way too short to waste countless hours trying to get free cans of soup and creamed corn. I also think it’s incredibly wasteful to store 77 bottles of ranch dressing in your garage. Extreme couponing is less about saving money and more about addiction and greed.
Stealing from work
I think we’ve all come from home from work, emptied out our pockets and seen a pen from work that we forgot was in there. Is the FBI going to break down the door over a pen? Of course not. But what I’m talking about is people who use the office as their own private supply store.
I once worked at an office that supplied full gallons of milk and orange juice for the employees to use at work. But they had to stop providing this free benefit because people were taking advantage and stealing milk and OJ for home. One woman was caught red-handed with an unopened gallon of orange juice in a giant bag. When a few bad apples take advantage of the company like that, everyone else suffers when it gets taken away.
Under-tipping at restaurants
The whole process of tipping for service kind of rubs me the wrong way. Personally, I’d rather just a couple extra bucks for my meal than be forced to leave gratuity.
Of course not everyone would like that idea, especially cheap skates who leave little or no tip at all. That’s right…I’m talking to you people who leave a dollar tip on a $25 bill. That’s just not cool. Restaurants pay their waiting staff less than minimum wage and the tips are expected to make up the difference. I don’t think it’s right either but I just can’t stiff a waitress when I see her working her butt off to support her family.
Under-using your heat and air conditioner
We have friends on the other side of town that we often get together with, but I absolutely dread going to their house in the summer. They have a newer central air system but they keep the temperature setting so damn high that I just sit and sweat in their family room. I’ve tried suggesting they lower the temperature a bit but they refuse, citing how much money they can save by keeping it just a few degrees warmer. Call me crazy, but I’d rather spend a few extra dollars and be comfortable.
You can read the full Wisebread list over at 10 Things I Just Won’t Do to Save Money.