Don’t Waste Money on These Things, According to Science

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Saving money and living a frugal lifestyle are often perceived as a sacrifice of life quality. As a penny pincher myself, I believe frugal living simply means being smart with your money and living a simple and fulfilling life. Why spend money when you don’t have to? There are many things we should not waste money on. 

I am a researcher and love reading articles on scientific findings. Interestingly, I found there is some scientific evidence showing in many cases, spending more does not do you any good, financially or otherwise. 

1. Shorter vacations are just as good as longer ones

In a recent interview with Business Insider, psychologist Daniel Kahneman noted that shorter vacations are typically just as good in hindsight as longer ones. “When you go on vacation for two weeks instead of one, you most likely aren’t ‘changing the story’ enough to create new memories about the experience. Instead, it all eventually blends into one amorphous memory. You might be left with one or two standout moments.”

Pschologically, people’s experiences and memory are related in two ways “experiencing self” (living in the moment) and “remembering self” (looking back on the life through the rearview. Longer vacation may be better for experiencing self, but if you fall the “remembering self” category, a shorter vacation would be just as good.

How this information helps us reduce money waste

Longer vacation usually means spending more for hotels, transportation, restaurants, and entertainment. Consider cutting your long vacation short, or spend half of the vacation time as staycation or doing something less expensive. 

Related: Save Time and Money on Travel Using Three Checklists

2. Sleeping in a cold bedroom is better for your health

According to an article written by Dr. Christopher Winter, Medical Director at Charlottesville Neurology & Sleep Medicine, our bed rooms should be 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit for the best sleep. Our body temperatures naturally rise and fall during a 24-hour period. When we sleep, our body temperature drops, so a colder room is helpful for getting our body to that lower temperature.

How this information helps us reduce money waste

How this information helps saving money: As winter is approaching, many people set their room temperature at 70-degree or higher. Keeping such a high temperature is not only a waste of energy, but a negative factor for a good-night sleep. An easy solution is to install a programmable thermostat and program it to lower temperatures at night.

Related: 6 Great Gadgets that Save you Money on Electricity

Besides, Americans spent billions of dollars on insomnia-related care and products, from prescription drugs to luxury mattresses that are claimed to boost good sleep. Why not try this easy, natural and scientific-based method to improve your sleep and health?

Related: 11 Simple Ways to Improve your Health at No Cost

3. Organic foods are no more nutritious than conventional foods

A Stanford study reviewed 237 studies that compared the levels of nutrition of organic and non-organic foods. According to Dr. Dena Bravata, the lead researcher of this study, “There isn’t much difference between organic and conventional foods, if you’re an adult and making a decision based solely on your health.” There is no straightforward evidence that organic foods are more nutritious than conventional alternatives, though organic foods have a lower risk of pesticide exposure.

How this information helps us reduce money waste

Organic foods are usually significantly more expensive than conventionally produced foods. However, studies could not demonstrate they are healthier choices. Therefore, we can be more selective in buying organic foods. Some fruits and vegetables with the highest level of pesticide residues, so these foods may be worth buying organic. Otherwise, we should not spend extra money on organic foods.

You may also consider buying foods from local farmers markets. Here’s how we spend less and eat fresh by shopping at farmers markets in our neighborhood.

Related: Eat Healthy on a Tight Budget: 12 Super Cheap Foods for a Healthy Diet

4. Vitamin and mineral supplements are mostly a waste of money

In the December issue of 2013 Annals of Internal Medicine, three research articles examined the role of vitamin and mineral supplements for preventing the occurrence or progression of chronic diseases. Their findings along with previous studies “indicate no substantial health benefit. This evidence, combined with biological considerations, suggests that any effect, either beneficial or harmful, is probably small.”

How this information helps us reduce money waste

The message is simple—stop wasting money on supplements if you have no signs of nutritional deficiency. The best source to get vitamins, minerals and nutrients is foods, rather than supplements. If you are lacking a certain nutrient, consult doctors whether you need to take supplements to make up for what you are missing.

If you need to take supplements, be sure to purchase them from reputable companies. I always buy my supplements from Puritan’s Pride, a credible website that sells supplements from top manufacturers at lower prices.

According to science, those are the things not to waste money on.  Think twice before you open your wallet. Don’t throw away your hard-earned money! 

Things not to waste money on, according to science