Extendend Warranties: Just say no. Extended warranties are a numbers game, and those numbers favor the seller. If you are really that concerned that your new purchase is going to break then you shouldn’t be buying it. Save your money. If you want to have some fun when the clerk asks you if you would like the warranty respond by asking “Why, is this product no good? Is it going to break? Oh well, maybe I shouldn’t buy it at all then.”
Checking Accounts: If you are paying for your checking account please stop right now. Know the rules you need to play by to keep your checking account free. If you can’t do it, change banks. There are plenty of banks that offer truly free checking. Find one.
Anything a telemarketer is selling: A great rule of thumb is that if they approach you then you shouldn’t buy it. No matter how good the deal is if you didn’t go looking for it then you probably shouldn’t buy it. If you really feel you must have whatever they are selling get a number to call them back and do some research first. If they won’t let you think about then that is a huge red flag. Hang up!
Late fees: There is no excuse to paying late fees. If you are paying these fees please take some time this month and get organized. If you have bills that are due at weird times of the month and this is throwing you off then you need a budget and an emergency fund. A couple of hundred dollars in the bank will save you from ever having to pay another late fee.
Vanity Plates: It’s expensive enough to drive these days. Keep a bit of your money out of the state’s hands by going with standard license plates. Express yourself with a $2 sticker.
Your Own Money: ATM fees, rapid refunds, settlement consolidations, ect. There are a lot of ways to pay for access to your own money. Don’t do it. Plan your cash needs ahead so you don’t have to use a fee laden ATM. Wait those extra few weeks for your tax return. And those settlement consolidations companies (“It’s my money and I need it now!”) are to be avoided. Don’t pay for your own money!
The 1st Generation of Anything Electronic: Skip the newest of anything that comes out. There will be bugs and you will over pay. Let them work out the kinks on someone else’s dollar. In a few months you will spend less on a better version.
Name Brand OTC Medication: The rules governing medications are so strict that the generic version is just as good. You are paying for the emotional comfort they created in their advertising. Go generic to save a couple bucks and buy something that is truly comforting, like ice cream.
Car Washes: The place down the street from me charges $25 for a car wash. $25! And there is always a line. For $5 in quarters I can wash both my cars in the do-it-yourself stall type car wash around the corner. For the cost of a couple of squirts of soap and a bucket of water I can wash them in my driveway. Put that extra money in the tank instead.
New Books, Movies, or Video Games: There are so many options for buying used media. Most books get read once and the sit on a shelf. And most people take good care of their movies and video games. Video games especially. A lot of people buy video games with the full intention of selling them when they are through. Do your wallet a favor and buy these items used.
Have you spent money on any of these things? I know I have. In fact, I think I’ve spent money on all but two things on this list. Do you have anything to add to my list?