Money saving myths that can cost you money

We all like to save money when we shop, eat, travel and even fill up our car.

But sometimes those attempts to save a few dollars end up backfiring.

We went out in search of nine of the biggest money saving myths that could cost you more in the long run.

We've All Done It...

Ask any shopper if they have ever done a dumb thing to save money. If they're honest, they'll tell you: Sure!

You know what we're talking about: Things like buying cheap shoes to save money. But Kim White said "they fall apart so soon, and I have to get new ones."

Lauren Howard says a dumb purchase she made was purchasing knock-off rings, bracelets and earrings.

"And then my fingers turned green and I said 'why did I do that?' " Howard said.

Julie Poynter says her dumb money move was buying no-name cola drinks. "I tried off-brand soft drinks and they are not as good and not worth it," she said.

And then there's generic laundry detergent, something Poynter bought in an attempt to save on laundry costs.

"I use Tide most of the time," she said. "And I tried to save money. And nope, it didn't work."

Buying Too Cheap

Buying too cheap -- and later regretting it -- is the No. 1 money saving mistake that most people make, according to consumer finance expert and CPA Crystal Faulkner.

She listed a number of other money saving myths, beginning with opening a store credit card just to get a discount that day.

Store Credit Card for a Discount

"You go into a store, they say open up a credit card, you get 20 percent off. But what many people don't realize is that can absolutely hurt your credit score," she said.

In addition, you end up buying stuff you were not planning to buy once you have that card.

Shopping a Sale Because it's a Sale

Also, buying something simply because it's on sale. Like that bedding, or dress, or wall clock you never needed to begin with.

"Many people buy more, even things they don't need, when it's on sale," Faulkner said.

Driving Extra Miles

While you are hunting those sales, another common money mistake is driving extra miles just to use a coupon or find cheaper gas.

You burn up your gas and your time, spending 50 cents in gas to save 30 cents on that fill-up.

Buying in Bulk Too Often

Which leads to buying in bulk at a warehouse store, when it's something you'll never use up.

Toilet paper in bulk is great. Spinach, not so much.

"It usually goes bad before you can use it," Faulkner said. "Just because you can get something in large quantities for a few dollars less, doesn't mean it's a good idea."

The Free Shipping Mistake

Another mistake, Faulkner said, is buying more online just to get free shipping, especially at Amazon.

Admit it, you've done it.

Savings Mistakes

Then there's your savings.

A common mistake, Faulkner says, is keeping too much money in a low paying savings account, earning virtually no interest. Bonds, money markets and stock funds provide better returns in most cases.

Speaking of savings, there's also dipping into your 401k to pay for a child's college education.

You may never get that money back.

"You can finance a college education. But you cannot finance your retirement," Faulkner said.

Worthless Warranties

Faulkner also cautioned against buying an extended warranty for a small appliance or TV. It's often cheaper to replace it if it breaks.

Which brings us back to buying cheap stuff. Sarah Daniel says she's learned her lesson. "It just didn't last," she said. "There's a reason why it's cheap!"

It's a lesson Daniel and most of us learn -- eventually.

Don't get me wrong: Thrifty shopping is smart shopping, if you are getting something at a great value.

But too often the cheap stuff is just that: Cheap stuff, and a money-saving myth.

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