10 Worst Ways to Save Money


Cost of living keeps going up, and smart people keep their finances in check.

While budgeting is always important, there are some areas in life where it may be counter-intuitive to save costs.

These are the top 10 worst ways to save money. 

This article was written by a Financial Horse Contributor. 

1. Skipping health checks 

Health is wealth.

Skipping health checks, or avoiding going to the dentist, will cost you big bucks in the future. 

Make sure to keep up with your health and dental checks.

Prevention (or catching things early) is a whole lot cheaper than trying to salvage a health issue turned serious. 

To save costs on health & dental checks, make sure to maximize your company’s benefits if you’re an employee.

Take advantage of your company-paid/subsidized health and dental checks (and check if they cover your spouse as well).

Singapore has one of the best public health systems in the world.

Take advantage of polyclinic subsidies, and go to public hospitals to get a thorough assessment. 

2. Fast fashion

One of the worst ways to waste money is on fast fashion.

Besides the terrible environmental impact, fast fashion is often thrown away after just a couple of uses, because of the poor quality or it has gone out of style.


Small and frequent purchases add up, and it can cause a hole in your budget. 

Instead, invest in quality pieces that will stand the test of time. 

What you wear at work can significantly affect your work image.

A confident and professional image can help you look better and feel much more confident at work. 

Invest in is a couple of good pieces, that you can rewear over and over again.

You can also invest in tailoring, basic clothes can look much improved with just a few nips and tucks for the perfect fit.

3. Not taking care of your feet & back 

Invest in protecting your feet and back.

This means good quality shoes (work shoes, running shoes) and a good chair and mattress.

The benefits are immensurable. 

Talk to anyone older, and they’ll give you this same advice. 

When you are older, you’ll be so thankful you made wise decisions to protect your feet and back. 

Check out the best household furniture to invest in!

4. Not maximizing your CPF

It is extremely important to grow and protect our retirement funds.

In Singapore, one of the best ways we can do that is to maximize your CPF.

Here’s why you should top up $1 in your SRS account as soon as possible!

BTW – we share commentary on Singapore Investments every week, so do join our Telegram Channel (or Telegram Group), Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date!

I also share great tips on Twitter.

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5. Skimping out on self-care

While it may seem better to cut out all self-care in order to stick to a strict budget, this can back fire.

As your mental health declines, this may actually trigger a spending binge, or other bad decisions.

Scheduling in suitable self-care can benefit you in the long-term.

This means including some wiggle room in your budget, to let you enjoy life and live a little. 

As your general state of well-being is kept uplifted, you’ll find it easier and more motivating to stay on track to achieve your financial goals. 

6. DIY house repairs 

Unless you are very experienced with repairs, trying to fix something yourself may end up costing you more than you’re saving.

The headache (and cost) that ensues with trying to salvage a disastrous DIY attempt can be astronomical. 

See this local actor who spent $200k to overhaul his condo after a termite infestation.

Of course, it is always handy to keep a tool box at home. And in some instances, you can Google “how to fix” and you can solve it yourself. 

But for certain things, it may be worth it to outsource these tasks. 

Find trustworthy and reliable repair persons that can you help you around the house.

This includes plumbing, electrical, air con servicing, termite checks etc. 

Don’t think of this as wasting money, you need to factor in your time costs as well. Could your time and effort be better spent elsewhere?

7. Not protecting yourself 

In the pursuit of financial freedom, many people are focused on the upside, but it is also important to think about the downside.

As you build wealth, you also need to protect it.

This means getting your insurances in order (health, mortgage, dependents), getting a will done up properly, and keeping in mind your risk tolerance when making any financial decision. 

8. Getting side-tracked by sales 

Sales are everywhere these days, designed to lure you in every single month.

10.10, 11.11, 12.12…. the list goes on.

While buying necessary and big-ticket items on sale is an excellent way to save money, being tempted to shop 24/7 by sales is certainly not.

And retailers are making it extremely difficult for you to look away.

So be proactive, unsubscribe from shopping newsletters, keep track of your spending, and make sure you have an emergency fund.

9. Sacrificing your social life

One of the easiest ways to save money is to just stay home and decline all social invitations.

This can be a good way to boost your savings as a short-term plan.

BUT! It is also important to make sure you have social contact, as meeting new people and doing new things allows you to grow in many ways.

Socialize smart. 

Go for high value and productive activities that help you grow mentally & physically.

10. Not investing 

The no.1 worst way to save money is to not invest.

Not investing will cost you serious wealth, as the compounding effect will separate someone who started investing in their 20s, dramatically from someone who started in their 40s. 

Choose the investing style that is right for you, and invest in things that align with your risk appetite. 

As long as you keep investing, you are on track to achieving your financial goals. 



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    • Draw a high income, and top up CPF every year (if you are so inclined)!

      Voluntary topups to CPFSA if you are below FRS.

      It’s as simple as that.


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