10 Things You Don’t Want To Get Caught Doing in Your Bathroom

by Shari Smith
DIY Landscaping for Less photo

Are you washing hard-earned money down the drain? You could be if you’re doing any of these things in your bathroom.

Don’t worry; we won’t discuss the removal of unwanted hair.

No, I’m talking about the nasty habit of washing money down the drain by the choices you make.

Here are ten budget-busting things you don’t want to get caught doing in your bathroom:

1. Paying too much for TP.

We all need it, but toilet paper can absorb a large chunk of the budget. Give store brands a try. They can be priced 50% less than the national brands. (See Saving with Generic Store Brands.)

Consider buying in bulk from an online janitorial supply house. The savings can be substantial.

2. Buy a different cleaner for every surface in your bathroom.

Instead of harboring a miniature chemical factory in your bathroom, try using natural ingredients to make homemade cleaners, like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. You’ll save a lot of green and the environment, too.

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3. Ignore the exhaust fan.

Besides being a dust magnet, the fan serves an important function, namely, keeping the humidity down. Too much moisture builds up and can cause mold, wood rot, and other problems.

Using the fan every time you shower or take a bath is a good habit to get into.

4. Stay stuck in the 1990s.

If your bathroom décor leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth, reach for a paintbrush. Paint is the easiest and least expensive way to transform a dated room into a showstopper.

Pick a color that you like or to enhance a mood. Lavender and pale blue tones are soothing, while brighter colors and tones can wake up your senses.

5. Spend a fortune getting the luxury bathroom you want.

First, consider how long you’ll be in your home. Renovating too extravagantly can backfire in resale value, as you will only get back about 64% of your costs. Keep it more neutral if you are planning on moving soon.

6. Pay hundreds of dollars for a fancy shower curtain.

You can easily make your own shower curtain with a pretty sheet for a fraction of the cost. Just clip shower rings to the sheet with a protective clear plastic curtain on the inside for just a dollar or two at a dollar store.

7. Drown in debt for a miracle skin cream.

Lotion is all about hydrating the skin. Those anti-aging creams that claim to take decades off are mostly marketing and substantial markups.

Read the ingredient list and look for a similar product. I’ve used Vaseline brand lotion for many years for huge savings. Look on the top and bottom shelves for the cheaper, just as effective products.

8. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Shampoos and conditioners can be another massive drain on your budget. By watching for sales at drugstores and discount places, you can even get them free with coupons and reward points.

A dollar store is another excellent place to pick up hair products, as the bottles are usually much bigger than other retail outlets.

9. Ignore a leaky faucet or running toilet.

This can cost big bucks on your water bill or a costly visit from a plumber.

Most problems can be fixed by figuring out the problem yourself and running to a home improvement store like Home Depot. They have trained staff that can give you hints for free and help you find the exact part you need at a fraction of the cost.

10. Deck out your bathroom with expensive new towels and rugs.

Watch for “white sales” to pick up pretty towels and matching rugs for a considerable discount, typically in the spring. (See A Calendar for Smart Seasonal Shoppers.)

Also, keep an eye on clearance racks for bargains any time of the year. Sticking with one color makes it easy to mix and match.

Bathrooms are the busiest and hardest working room in the house. Make your bathroom into a relaxing retreat without wasting money by avoiding these ten things you don’t want to get caught doing in your bathroom.

Reviewed November 2023

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