I read a lot of blogs about saving cash. And one thing I encounter again and again? Terrible advice on how to save money. One blogger I recently had a good laugh at (until I started thinking about how truly awful the advice is) provided a list of suggestions which include–and I kid you not–making your own toilet paper and dumpster diving in a list of “50 Ways To Save Money”.
Let’s talk specifically about the bad advice related to getting your food out of a dumpster when you are so in need of saving money that you have to look to so-called extreme money saving tactics.
Bad Advice On Saving Cash
If you are in dire need of cash to the point where dumpster diving is an option you are actually considering, stop and rethink your actions–dumpster diving as a practice all on its own can lead to a stint in the hospital and jail. When there are food pantries and charitable organizations offering help, dumpster diving in the name of frugality may be a really terrible option, don’t you think?
There is other bad advice floating around out there–making your own toilet paper out of old t-shirts shows up in the same list as dumpster diving.
But you won’t save too much cash when you attempt to flush those old t-shirts you’ve turned into a form of toilet paper that could potentially clog up your plumbing good and proper and require the expense of hiring a plumber because you were dumb enough to take any old advice you read on the internet about saving money without researching the implications first.
There’s a lot of “extreme saving” advice out there for those who want to cut corners as far as they can go. But the same complaints we gave above about the advice one blogger gives to “ignore food expiration dates” applies here–the safety aspect of this so-called advice cannot be ignored.
And some of the advice is just…poorly thought out. “Cut dryer sheets in half to extend their life” should actually read “Just don’t purchase dryer sheets and save money.” You can save cash by taking a smart look at your finances and start by cutting out the unnecessary.
Does your so-called extreme saving list include “Quit drinking soda” and “Stop buying snacks” while it’s encouraging you to ignore the sell-by dates on things? Do the math on a weekly Starbucks habit and you’ll see that you don’t have to jump in a dumpster to make a big dent in your weekly expenses.
Some extreme saving lists do include some actual good advice–such as buying baking soda and vinegar as cleaners instead of more expensive chemical mixes, and hang drying your clothes instead of using a dryer. But it’s the dodgy, risky advice that makes these lists a poor choice–don’t take risks with your health or safety when trying to save money!
Joe Wallace specializes in personal finance, military affairs, and consumer protection topics. Since 1995, his work has appeared on Air Force Television News, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year Air Force veteran and collects unusual vinyl records, which gives him an excuse to write the vinyl blog Turntabling.net.
Im in full agreement with you. Some bloggers advice on being extremely cheap is just plain stupidity! And if you’re convinced that you need to be that cheap you’re just as dumb.