When I was younger, my parents tried to teach me the value of the dollar and the importance of saving. They would say, “Money doesn’t grow on trees. You have to work hard and earn every penny. If you save today, you’ll be able to put aside enough money to buy something you really want.” So that’s exactly what I did.

Now as an adult, one of my greatest sources of pride is being smart with my money. I budget wisely and am diligent about monitoring my accounts, but up until recently, I didn’t realize there were still ways I was wasting money. I’ve discovered some of the things people do to save money that end up costing them more in the long run. Unfortunately, I’ve been guilty of most of them!

Not having health insurance
If you’re relatively healthy and don’t visit the doctor often, you may think you don’t need health insurance. However, if an accident were to ever occur or you became sick, having health insurance may save you from financial disaster. In my opinion, it’s better to have that peace of mind.

Doing your own taxes
Some people do their own taxes because they think it’s cheaper than hiring a professional. However, if you don’t do it correctly, you could end up owing more than you expect. I’m not saying that you can’t do your own taxes, but in some cases, you may save money by going with a professional.

Buying cheap stuff
I try not to buy things I don’t need, but I certainly love getting good deals. However, I’ve made the mistake, on several occasions, of confusing what is cheapest for what is the best value. Several years ago, I bought a coffee maker for $10. What a great deal, right? Well, I thought so, until it broke 3 weeks later. Instead of saving $30 by foregoing a higher quality coffee maker, I wasted $10 by buying a crappy one instead.

Stocking up on groceries
Think buying in bulk will save you money? It may if you shop for a family of four. For a single person, you may actually waste more money. Unless you plan your meals carefully, you could end up tossing a lot of the food away. What a waste!

Driving around for cheaper gas
Driving, especially when you live in a big city, can be very expensive. You may think you’ll save money by driving around for better gas prices, but most of the time, you just end up wasting time, burning gas, and not really saving that much money.

Wasting utilities
I try to be mindful about not wasting utilities, but there are still times when I forget. It’s not just about saving money, it’s about conservation too. Just remember, if the lights are on in a room you’re not sitting in, you’re wasting money. Use only what you need, and don’t be excessive in your utility usage.

If you’re looking to save some money, keep these things in mind. It can help you save some serious cash in the long run. You may not be guilty of the items listed above, but there may be ways you can trim your spending.