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15 Things People Do To Save Money That’s Unethical

We all want to save money, but sometimes, our tactics can cost us more in the long run. Whether it’s falling for a seemingly good deal or skipping necessary expenses, these money-saving “hacks” can have unintended consequences.

The Laundry Machines Scam

housewife taking out laundry from washing machine

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A user says, “I accidentally discovered that the laundry machines in my building take 20 Euro cent coins instead of the $2 coins. The last time I was in Germany, I saved as many as possible, and now a load of laundry costs about 50 cents instead of $4.”

The Eternal Employee Benefits

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While not necessarily intended, sometimes employee discounts remain active even after leaving a company, sometimes for years. This can happen due to system errors, administrative oversights, or even deliberate policy choices. While initially advantageous, it’s crucial to remember that using such discounts after official termination can be considered unethical or even illegal, depending on the company’s terms and conditions. To avoid any potential consequences, it’s best to clarify the discount status with the former employer and refrain from using it if deactivated.

A user says, “I never got removed from an employee discount plan for a job I left almost seven years ago. I get 25% off every month on my phone and internet.”

The Fake Name Move

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Putting a fake name is not ethical, and you may get caught any day. So, it is essential to be authentic and not repeat it.

A user says, “When I was in sixth grade, they would give IOU slips to anyone who forgot their money for lunch. You were supposed to put your name; they would bill you later. I always wrote Cornelius Origami. My name is not Cornelius Origami.”

The Senior Citizen Makeshift

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Buying senior citizen movie tickets without qualifying is unethical, depriving those who genuinely need the discount and potentially causing financial strain on the theater. A user says, “Buy Senior Citizen movie tickets online and print them out at work. The doorman never looks nor seems to care. They point you in the direction of your auditorium. $2 saved per ticket, CHA-CHING!”

The Walmart Deal

Novi, Michigan, USA - AUGUST 8, 2021: Walmart sign at store exterior. Walmart is an American large retail corporation operates discount stores across the world.

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Requesting a Walmart employee discount at a hotel while not being an employee is unethical. It involves misrepresentation, exploiting a system meant for actual employees, potentially harming the company, and setting a bad example.

A user says, “When checking into a hotel, ask if they give Walmart employees a discount. More often than not, you get a 10% discount, and I have never been asked to prove it.”

The Student Discounts Hack

Overworking,Concept.,Tired,Young,Woman,Holding,Book,On,Her,Head,

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“I still use student discounts whenever I can. not a student.” Said one.

“I graduated in 2013. My senior year, they came up with a new ID card, which doesn’t expire til 2018.” Another added.

It deprives actual students of resources intended for their financial support, undermines the purpose of the discounts, and promotes a culture of entitlement. While the individual gain might seem small, it contributes to a more significant issue of unfairness and disrespect for those who rely on these programs.

The Napkin Theft

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Stealing napkins from Chipotle is bad business. It raises prices for everyone, erodes ethical principles, and harms the environment. Be honest and respect others’ property – it’s better for everyone.

“I haven’t bought paper towels in two years because I’ve been stealing napkins from Chipotle weekly.” Said one. 

“I always stash the extra napkins from my food, usually in my purse or car center console, and they always get used. It makes me irrationally angry at the thought anyone would throw unused napkins away.” Another added. 

The McDonalds Straws Trick

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A user says, “Back when payphones were a thing, you could carefully shove the fat McDonalds straws into the change slot in my city and get free calls.”

Regardless of the motivation, its unethical to do something like this.

The Gay Disguise

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“I pretend I’m gay. The gym I go to charges 50 bucks less if you register as a couple and not as a single. I don’t have an SO, so my best male friend and I registered as a gay couple. The first day, the manager almost asked us to make out to prove it. He decided it was homophobic, so he stopped. When we come in, he’s always staring while we use the machines together, like he wants to catch us doing something intimate.” Says a user. 

Pretending to be gay for a couple’s discount is unethical on multiple levels. It exploits a program intended for genuine couples, disrespects the LGBTQ+ community by trivializing their identity, and hurts the gym’s bottom line. 

The Beach Hotel Story

DUBAI, UAE - JANUARY 20: Burj Al Arab hotel on January 20, 2011 in Dubai, UAE. Burj Al Arab is a luxury 5 star hotel built on an artificial island in front of Jumeirah beach

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A user says, “When we were kids, we discovered the hotel by the beach had a free brunch on the top floor every day. You needed to use a key card in the elevator to access the top floor, but we would go to the floor under it and walk up to the last flight.

I assume some fire code restriction was why the stairs weren’t key-coded. As dumb kids, we were greedy, went too often, and got kicked out eventually, but it was nice while it lasted. They had a deal that their guests could use the pool at the hotel next door too, and no one ever checked, so they would do that as well.”

Getting kicked out for frequently using free hotel brunch is bad. It’s unfair to paying guests, harms the hotel financially and reputationally, and is ultimately unethical. Respect the rules and enjoy what’s rightfully yours.

The Paid Subscription Gang

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Bumming friends’ paid subscriptions for services like Netflix and Hulu Plus can be detrimental in several ways. It freeloads off their financial support, deprives them of the total value of their subscriptions, and strains friendships. While seemingly convenient in the short term, it can lead to resentment, damage relationships, and ultimately be harmful to everyone involved. It’s best to find fair and ethical ways to access entertainment without relying on others’ generosity.

A user says, “Bumming off of different friends for their paid subscriptions – Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, Xfinity, Sam’s Club.”

The Food Loot

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A user says, “In high school, I had a good friend who worked solo in a small fast food burger place inside a gas station, an East Coast chain called Bullets. I would order a small side of fries, and he would give me $30 worth of chicken fingers, bacon burgers, onion rings, curly fries, etc… over the summer, large groups of friends would go and order $10 worth of food and 12 people would eat like kings. We did this for years, and nothing ever came of it except my friends and I all got fat during the summer, eating 4K calories from that place most days.”

While seemingly fun at the time, exploiting your friend’s position for years to score free food was unethical. It unfairly burdened your friend with responsibility, potentially jeopardized their job, and deprived the restaurant of revenue. 

The Extra Bacon Scheme

woman eating too much food

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A user says, “When I get the cooked breakfast from the canteen at work, you’re allowed five items. I always take extra bacon and hide it under the beans. That’s free Bacon.”

The Birthday Freebie Stunt

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A user says, “If I plan on going out and fancy a certain restaurant, I go online maybe two weeks in advance, sign up to their mailing list, and give my birthday as the day I plan on going. Most places give you some freebie for your birthday.”

The License Plate Ploy

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A user says, “My girlfriend never put her license plates on her car. 2.5 years into her lease and she still uses the dealer placeholder.  This lets her use toll roads and fast lanes without paying.  She’s never been pulled over, but I bet that will be an awkward conversation someday with how she speeds.”

Firstly, it’s illegal to operate a vehicle without proper license plates, and doing so can result in hefty fines, vehicle impoundment, and even criminal charges. Furthermore, it constitutes a theft of services as she’s using toll roads and fast lanes without paying the intended fees. This undermines the system responsible for maintaining these infrastructure projects and contributes to unfairness towards those who comply with the rules.

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.