Money is tight for many individuals across the nation. Jobs have been stagnant and many employers just aren’t offering the raises they used to to combat the increasing costs of living. Because of this many households are coming up with crafty ideas to put a few extra bucks in their pocket each month.

While choosing to cut back on eating out or to carpool to save on gas are legitimate ways to save money, others are choosing more dramatic savings options which are often too good to be true. A few of these seeming money savers that should almost always be avoided include:

The Mortgage Refinance

When it comes to high expenses, our homes are usually the highest. Not only do they come with maintenance, insurance, and utility expenses, but the high private mortgage insurance and mortgage payments sometimes make them a bit more than we can handle financially. To reduce their monthly mortgage payment, many homeowners consider a mortgage refinance.

However, these types of programs don’t always work in the homeowners favor. Unless current interest rates for a refinance are at least 1 percent lower than your current rate, then there is a good chance that the refinance won’t save you much money. Any savings that you would have received will have been eaten up by the closing costs you will be required to pay. Your refinance will also require that you refinance the entire mortgage – accrued interest and all. So if you have had your mortgage for awhile, you will wind up paying further interest on substantial interest already accrued – not exactly a great financial move.

The 401(k) Loan

Dipping into your 401(k) for extra money is one of the most counter-intuitive savings ideas any person could ever have. While pulling out a 401(k) loan may seem like a great idea to make home renovations to increase the sale or to put your kids through college, these investments rarely pay off, and they often leave your 401(k) in a deficit or with an outstanding balance.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul hardly ever works out for anyone. You need your retirement fund so that you can retire and do so comfortably and when you want. Don’t risk that opportunity simply to give yourself some extra spending cash later or to make a frivolous investment now.

The Credit Consolidation Program

If you have racked up those business credit cards buying you and your team fancy laptops or big and tall office chairs simply because you could or charged your personal credit card to no end by spending way too much every holiday spoiling your kids rotten, there is a good chance that your monthly bills seem too hard to handle. For those with high credit card bills, they often see credit consolidation programs as a saving grace, as a great way to reduce their monthly payments while also saving money on monthly interest payments.

Unfortunately, these programs rarely offer the solace needed. Through high hidden fees or simply fly-by-night set ups, these types of programs often wind up costing clients the same or even more. To better manage those high credit card bills, simply call the creditors themselves and see if they won’t lower your interest rates or monthly payments. Creditors are usually more interested in getting paid, even in smaller amounts, than having you forgo payments altogether so they are usually willing to work with you.

If you are truly in need of more money at the end of each month, it actually may be time to take a truly intimate look at your finances rather than pursue a quick fix. The aforementioned quick fixes will rarely provide you with the long-term money solutions you need in order to get yourself back on the right financial foot. So instead of turning to these seeming money savers, which are more likely to leave you worse off, consider working with a financial planner to see where you can cut costs even further so that you can create a savings plan, reach your financial goals, and obtain the retirement you’ve always wanted.