10 Dumb Things You Do That Cost You Money
We all have our little habits that we do without even thinking about it. But do you do any of these 10 dumb things that could be costing you money?
Take a look at the list below and then determine which (if any) you do & how you can go about creating a new, more frugal way of doing things.
Yanking the cord to unplug the vacuum
Why it’s dumb: Repeatedly tugging the vacuum cord instead of bending down and pulling the plug out of the socket could cause a whole host of damage. The cord could split open, a wire inside could break, the plug could bend out of whack, or you could even crack the outlet itself-all of which could lead to pricey repairs or the need for a replacement. Why cost yourself money when all you have to do is just bend over??
Always washing clothes in hot water
Why it’s dumb: Only whites, on occasion, and your dirtiest loads, like oil-splattered clothes, require a high-temp setting. For all others, including bloodstained items, cold water will do the trick. And because most of the electricity your washer uses goes toward heating the water, you can save up to 50 cents a load if you set the dial to “colors” or the cold water setting. At four loads a week, that’s $104 a year! Always defaulting your setting back to “Cold” when you do a load also prevents accidental high-temp washing which could set in stains instead of getting them out, also costing you money to replace the now set stained item!!
Overfilling the refrigerator
Why it’s dumb: A fridge functions at its best when it’s about three-quarters full. When shelves are stuffed full — or if items are blocking the vents in the top of the refrigerator (or where ever they may be on your particular model of fridge) where the cold air is released — it can lead to poor circulation. With this blocked, your food will spoil faster. It’s hard enough to make sure that you are using everything before it expires; why make it worse on yourself?
Running the dishwasher half-empty
Why it’s dumb: Your machine uses the same amount of water and electricity no matter how many dishes are inside, so two half loads require double the water and electricity of a single full one. If you’re desperate to get a small load clean, just wash those dishes by hand, but don’t be dumb twice. Make sure you are turning off the tap while you’re soaping everything up.
Flushing cleaning wipes
Why it’s dumb: Toilet paper breaks down quickly, but baby wipes and household cleaning wipes are often made of woven fibers that are more likely to maintain their composition in drainage systems. Even some “flushable” wipes can cause clogs. That could lead to blockages in your home’s drain lines or, if your neighbors are doing the same, affect your entire municipality’s sewage system. (Personally, I think it’s dumb to waste money on disposable wipes in the first place, when it’s much cheaper to use a rag and wash it, but hey…)
Slamming the microwave door
Why it’s dumb: Inside most microwave doors is a set of switches that must close in the proper order. When the door is shoved shut, that sequence could change, which can blow the microwave’s main fuse. You also risk cracking the plastic switches that hold the door in place. Either way, it can damage your appliance, and microwaves are NOT cheap anymore, especially if you have a above the range model. Just close it like an adult, please.
Letting food drip onto the bottom of the oven
Why it’s dumb:The next time you turn on the heat, those grease splatters and crumbs could cause your oven to smoke, which can lead to funky-tasting food, bad odors or a discolored interior. They can even lead to oven fires. To be safe — and make your oven last longer — wipe up spills within a few hours (once the oven cools) and clean the interior three to four times a year, either by hand or using the self-cleaning cycle. (And be careful that you don’t turn on the oven to preheat when your husband stores pizza boxes in there to keep them away from the fur babies!! I did that once.)
Leaving the cable box plugged in
Why it’s dumb: Experts say two cable-and-DVR sets can gobble up more electricity each year than a new fridge. So if you have boxes on little-used TVs or are heading out of town for a while and don’t need your DVR, turn them off completely. That means you’ll need to actually pull the plug. If the box is lit up in any way — if the clock is on, for example — it’s still running at near-full power, even if you pressed the off button. (I even unplug the TV since we have SmartTV’s, and I don’t know how much power they use. Better safe than broke.
Jam-packing the blender
Why it’s dumb: Overfilling can not only kill the motor but also cause the blender to leak or overheat and shut off. Once that happens, you may need to splurge on a replacement or a costly repair. So how much can you get in there? Check your blender’s manual to be sure, and when tossing in ingredients, add liquids first, then solids, then frozen foods, which is easiest on the appliance. (I measure and pre-package my smoothie ingredients so if I make one in the morning, I don’t even have the think about it. I already have the hard part done!)
Not tightening the car’s gas cap until it clicks
Why it’s dumb: This could cost you and the environment, since a loose cap can release harmful vapors into the air. If you do forget to click, most newer cars alert you by illuminating the check-engine light. But if you’re not sure what the problem is, that could send you scrambling to see a mechanic. (By the way, I know this from personal experience also. I had the check engine light come on, and of course, I freaked out. City Spouse checked the computer and guess what… I was dumb and didn’t get the cap on tight.)
Have any other dumb things that you used to do that cost you money? If you do, let us know about it. I’d love to learn more simple ways to be more frugal!!