Leading a frugal life isn’t always easy and it doesn’t come with a handbook. (Although, there are blogs a-plenty on the subject.) It takes work to stay on task, to live within your budget at least that has been the case for me. I don’t think people appreciate how creative you have to be to save money and live frugally. I’ve not always been a spendthrift-that all began about five years ago when I lost my corporate job and had to make a living with my business. Since that time, I have experimented with a number of money saving techniques, some successfully some not so successfully. It can be very frustrating!
I want to share with you some of my money saving fails, in hopes that I can save you a little heartache. Before I begin, please don’t judge me. I fully admit that I can get a little carried away when it comes to saving moolah. If I were you, I would avoid these methods for saving cash.
Dumpster diving to save money: Okay, this was dumb mistake number one. I fell prey to the success stories a friend told me about some furniture she had scavenged at the dump. I had an idea to cruise the local dump for items I could redo and resell. I found an old lamp with some character that I worked on. I painted the lamp and bought a shade for it, hauling in an extra $20. I thought this was a great idea until a relative called to complain that the lamp scorched her wall. I don’t know if it was the lamp’s fault or some faulty wiring but I ended up shelling out $300 for a new paint job. Fail!
Taking classes to save money: I finished this six week class very disappointed and out $150. I could have taught myself what I learned on campus just by cruising the Internet. Don’t spend money to save money. It’s a trap!
Making my own soap: This money-saving experiment didn’t last long. I made some soap (and a huge mess) and gave the soaps away as gifts for the holidays one year. In the end, it cost me more to make the soap than it would to just go buy some. Bad idea.
Going paperless: Sounds like a good idea, “going paperless” but for me it wasn’t. Apparently, you are supposed to track when your payments are due, not wait for a notice. Going paperless cost me some late fees a few times.
Buying a bread machine: I paid $200 for a bread machine and couldn’t make it work right. Come to find out, all I needed were some loaf pans and baking ingredients. Don’t buy a bread machine. It’s not a necessity.
Growing a garden: Don’t hate me for this one but growing a garden didn’t save me money. My soil needed a ton of work and I spent so much time in the garden, it wasn’t a real money saver. Unless you know how to can or freeze vegetables, this may not be a real money saver for you.
Well, that’s my sad story. I have found some cool ways to save though like line drying my clothing and unplugging appliances. Don’t give up on saving money!