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Don’t Pay Full Price or For Convenience...
November 7, 2017
Two of the biggest ways Americans waste money is by paying full price for brand new items or paying for convenience. Often we buy a brand new items when we could pay significantly less for a used model that is almost as good. We are also willing to pay hefty fees having things delivered to us, made for us, and items that are simply unnecessary.
Here is a list of items that if you either cut out of your spending or buy used, you can save thousands annually!
A brand new car is tempting, but used models are often available for a fraction of the cost. In fact, a new car depreciates by about 20 percent when you leave the dealership.
If you enjoy a good cup of coffee, brew it at home! A 16-ounce cup of coffee made at home is approximately 45 cents. If you drink one 16-ounce cup per day, it adds up to $164.25 per year. A 16-ounce grande coffee from Starbucks, at $2.10 per day, it adds up to $766.50 per year. If you enjoy specialty coffee like a caramel macchiato that price increases to $4.45 per day, it adds up to $1,624.25 per year!
#3 Bottled Water
Carry around your own water bottle. You can fill up at drinking fountains and save the expense of buying a disposable water bottle. Most gas stations and fast food restaurants don't mind if you fill up with filtered water from their soda machine. In fact, research shows that 24% of bottled water is actually filtered tap water! Save your money and fill up on your own.
#4 Housecleaning, Yard Work, Small Home Repairs
These are all things you can do yourself or as a family. There is no reason to pay someone to do these chores. Pick in as a family or assign chores and divide them up!
#5 ATM Fees
Plan ahead for when you need cash so you can make it to your bank to avoid paying ATM fees. If you forget or run out of time, most groceries will allow you to take out money without fees when making a purchase.
#6 Interest on Credit Cards
Now, this may be difficult to do if you have credit card debt, but you should try to pay the balance in full every month to avoid interest charges. You are usually paying upwards of 15% interest if you carry a balance. If you can't pay the balance immediately, make it a goal. Find credit cards with 0% introductory APR and transfer balances to avoid interest while paying down your balance.
#7 Late Fees
There's nothing worse than paying unnecessary fees simply because it was not paid on time. Avoid late fees by setting up automatic payments, you'll be saving yourself the possibility of forgetting a payment and incurring a late fee. If that is not an option, set up reminders on your cell phone to avoid missing payments.
#8 Men’s Haircuts
Most men pay about $30 per haircut. If you get it cut twice a month, you are looking at $720 a year. Men’s haircuts are relatively simple. Invest in a good set of clippers for $30-$50 and have a spouse, mom, or friend cut your hair. There are tons of tutorials online.
#9 Travel-sized Products
Often these items are marked up 100% for convenience. Use regular products and put them in smaller containers. If this is not an often. Buy the travel size once and reuse the containers. However, keep in mind that most hotels provide their own convenient travel sizes that you can use.
Going to the movie theater is extremely expensive nowadays. Get a low cost monthly membership and watch all the movies you want from the comfort of your own home!
#11 Internet Modem Rental
If you don't have a modem, BUT ONE! Most cable companies are more than happy to let you rent their for $5-$8 a month. However, you can buy your own for about $50 and it will pay for itself within the year.
A single magazine off the rack costs anywhere from $3-$7. If you simply cannot do without a specific magazine, get a subscription. The cost will decrease to approximately $1 per issue making it much more cost effective.
#13 Subscriptions or Memberships You Don't Use
Some subscriptions automatically renew every year, causing yet another expense that you didn't want or need. If you stop using the a service, stop the payments! Never pay for anything you have stopped using and think you will use later. If you want it later, pay for it later….
#14 Disposable Lunch Bags
Many people take their lunch to work or pack a lunch for their children. You should purchase a reusable lunch bag that can be used for years. Avoid the cost of buying bags you will simply throw away!
#15 College Textbooks
College textbooks aren't cheap and sometimes are not even a requirement. Many professors are required by the college to select a textbook for their class, but teach the material required and the textbook is not necessary. In some cases, professors will also provide printouts that can be used in lieu of the required textbook. However, if the textbook is required, borrow, share, download buy it used.
#16 Children's Clothing
Kids grow out everything quickly! Buy as many clothing items as you can used. Most of the times young children only get a few months of use before they have outgrown their clothes. Second hand stores that carry children's clothes exclusively often have never worn items or used items that look almost brand new.