Skip to comments.6 Things You Don't Need to Spend Money On (please add your own tips)
Posted on 10/21/2012 5:28:24 AM PDT by RKBA Democrat
When it comes to ways to save money, ideas abound. You can try old standbys like limiting your cable TV and cell phone plans, or clipping grocery coupons. But for an even greater dent, look for items you can get for free - that's right, no cost. There are actually many valuable, necessary goods and services available gratis, but you have to know where and when to pounce. Here are several you might not have been aware of:
1. Batteries. Batteries can take a significant bite out of your checking account year-round, but especially during the holiday gift-giving season. However, just by signing up for email updates from your preferred office supply company, you'll often get notifications as to when these are available for free. Generally, you pay the upfront cost, then get 100% of it back in rewards certificates good for future purchases. Considering the high cost of most batteries, it's well worth it to stock up when you see these deals. Using this strategy, you'll never run out of them and you'll never have to pay. 2. Antivirus Software. There are two no-cost ways to protect your computer from online threats. First, you can often get all the protection you need by choosing one of the free antivirus software programs, such as AVG. I've used this free software for years and never had a problem - and I do a lot of online shopping for a reselling business that I run. If you feel better with the protection of a "paid" program, sign up for email alerts from a deal-of-the-day website like FatWallet.com. You're sure to find plenty of antivirus programs available for free after a mail-in rebate.
3. Tax Preparation. Click over to the IRS website for an extended list of tax preparation companies that will calculate your return for free. Some have limits on adjusted gross income eligibility, but others do not. Online, there are also several free tax-prep software programs and professional services, such as H&R Block. In short, if you look into it, you can often satisfy Uncle Sam at no cost to you - whatever you owe notwithstanding, of course. 4. Credit Report. In this day of identity theft and financial misappropriation, it's critical to know exactly where your credit stands. And the Internet is rife with paid services offering to pull your report for you. But did you know that you are entitled to see your report once per year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies free of charge? Just visit AnnualCreditReport.com. If you plan it out, you can pull an up-to-date report every four months from either Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax. With this in hand, read carefully for errors or red flags, and report them promptly. You can also find free ways to improve your credit score. Along with safeguarding your personal information, this is about all the protection you need against identity theft. And it's 100% free. 5. Extended Warranties. This caveat isn't exactly about getting them for free - it's more akin to "don't buy them at all." Many extended warranties are a complete waste of money. First, they overlap with the manufacturer's warranty, which means you pay for a term of coverage that you would've had at no cost without the extended warranty. Plus, studies have shown that the probability of a product breaking down during the insured time frame is minimal at best. And this is why the profit margin on the warranty itself is actually greater than on the product. 6. Activation Fees. In this day and age, companies will attempt to get money from you in any way they can - hence, activation fees. These are trumped-up charges put forth by the company in an attempt to get more for their services. If you play your cards right, however, they can be eliminated. Be it Internet, cable TV, or cell phone, if you tell the provider that paying an activation fee is a dealbreaker and you're ready to walk, you can get this fee waived 9 times out of 10. Final Thoughts
While some of these perks involve a little research and effort, others involve simply knowing where to go and what to look for. In the end, it really just comes down to how much you care where you're spending your hard-earned dollar. But I can tell you this: Those who take a more active role in the managing of their money are the ones who'll have much more of it left over. What else can get for free - and what are the best techniques?
One from me:
-Cable tv. No reason to spend money on it, except maybe to get internet service. Lots of stuff on youtube and netflix.
11. HTML formatting lessons.
Grey Goose Vodka (Barter...trading for Body Wash I get FREE)
Annnnd lots more including my BEST freebie yet...A brand new Compaq Presario computer. I got that 2 years ago and since the reviews for Windows 8 are not good I just might keep it for a couple more years.
2. Gasoline - pump up your tires
3. Health Care - don't get your leg amputated, take the blue pill.
4. Stop buying Arugula
5. Don't buy Wedding Presents - send the money to Zer0
6. Get the million airs and billion airs to pay your fair share of taxes.
Move to a State with no income tax.
I now make my own bleach, wash detergent and wood cleaner and fabric softner. next will be soap and candles.
Yeah, I started making my own laundry detergent about a year ago.
Wash and iron my own shirts. Save over 600 a year on dry cleaning.
Campaign contributions top my list of wasted money.
Donations to lobbying groups are up there, too
New vehicles. The depreciation for the first mile driven on a new vehicle can be up to 20%.
Actually I did get gasoline for FREE on two occasions during the past year. Almost exactly a year ago I got FREE gasoline for a week and then again this year from late June to early August. It's not easy to accomplish but it is doable. The worst thing about getting FREE gasoline is when the deal ends and you have to go back to paying for gasoline. I sort of went into mourning in August when my gasoline deal ended.
PSST! I've been using FREE Tide for over a year now via coupons. First the liquid but now I get Tide Pods which is easier to get FREE via coupons. Only trouble was convincing my wife to use Tide Pods.
Users of the free tax software are a good source of income to me when they rely solely on the software. Fixing their tax notices brings in off season revenue which is always good.
Do you have a link to some recipes that you like?
- Junk insurance. This is stuff like insurance policies that pay off your mortgage if you die, Accidental Death and Dismemberment, etc. Only exception would be if you can’t get any other coverage.
Clothes....We have several consignment shops as well as Good Wills etc. For everyday clothes (Like jeans) you can’t beat the bargains. The also have designer purses etc for very reasonable prices.
ace hardware has recipe n supplies. walmart n grocery stores have ingredients.
one bar of fels naptha soap , one cup of borax, one cup of arm n hammer washing soda makes 10 gal of laundry sopa. approx 3 to 5 cents a load.
this detergent works for front loading HE washers also great on those w sensitive. can get this stuff anywhere. everyone using this has been thrilled w results.
Wood cleaner. i use olive oil and a cap full or two of lemon juice. gets a little greasy at first but once its wiped off and buffed up it looks amazing.
And live in a house boat to avoid the real estate tax.
7. Save the cost of preparing for a debate; instead go to Vegas and Partying with Beyonce and JayZ
Don’t buy prepared food-dinners, lunches, etc.
Buy basic ingredients, meats, chicken, fish, vegetables, etc., and a cookbook, and make your own meals.
My husband and I eat on less than $ 200.00/month.
Oh, and use cloth napkins, not paper.
Make a list of your daily and weekly necessities: gas, food, clothing, medicine/medical help, education.
Limit your shopping for these to specific places. It sounds counter-intuitive because you might not be getting the best “deal.” When I limited myself to one specific big box store, one specific grocery store, one place for clothes, one specific gas station, I planned better, I didn’t shop for shopping’s sake or for things I really didn’t need and ended up saving a boatload of money.
I took this from a book called “7” by Jen Hatmaker and turned it into one of my lenten sacrifices.
Regarding number 5, I buy extended warranties on vehicles, every time. I have a 2 1/2 yr old Ford f150, and have had 1 thing go wrong. I’m at juat over 50,000 miles, and the sunroof broke. Warranty repair cost 1,400. The warranty cost me 1,045 when I bought it, and I paid 100 deductible. I’m already saving money.
One more...Volunteer at events that give away t-shirts. I volunteer at two a year that give me a t-shirt for working the event. I haven’t bought “work out” wear for years since I have these. Most nights I change into one of these as soon as I get home (usually another shirt underneath in the winter). I wear these around the house as I don’t care if I get grease, bleach, foodstains, paint or anything else on them. Then my nicer shirts are saved for the public.
Don't fool yourself on that one. I moved from Colorado which has a state income tax to Texas which does not. The state gets its money either way. No income tax = higher property and sales tax.
“Surely you jest. PMI is required for most, and if not, why leave your survivors homeless?”
You can get rid of PMI once you get to 80% LTV on a conventional loan.
As for mortgage (life)insurance, I would think that you would care about your family more than the mortgage company. Get a good term life policy that can pay off the mortgage and then some and your family decides what to do with the money should you meet your untimely demise. Rule of thumb = 10 X annual earnings.
Thanks for the recipes
“Move to a State with no income tax.”
Think about it first, and do a lot of research. We moved to TN where there is no income tax. High sales taxes, property taxes depending on the city/county, and income on investments is highly taxed .
1. Video games. Game Stop has great used video games and will replace them if they don't work.
2. Don't go to the movies. Do family movie night at home for just a few dollars.
3. If you have sons and they wear typical short-cuts, buy a trimmer kit and cut their hair at home. A $20 investment can save you years of hair cuts.
4. Rent a Rug Doctor and add a scoop of Oxyclean to the water when cleaning your carpets. It will take out stains you thought were permanent and extend the beauty of your flooring.
5. Don't buy new furniture. Invest in a miter-capable monster table saw and build your own furniture. Sick of paying top dollar for pressed-wood with coating over it? So was I. My husband bought me the table saw for Christmas two years ago and I now build my own furniture out of real wood for pennies over what the store charges.
6. If you can find them, get a hand-powered push mower and edger. Save the gasoline, and you don't have to worry about the kids cutting off their toes.
7. Join the local FreeCycle and find out what other people are giving away.
8. Cook and bake at home. Healthier and a lot less expensive.
9. Shop consignment. Whether it's an upscale shop for business clothes or your local Good Will, you can find great clothes for a fraction of the price.
10. Buy board games, card games, etc., for family game night.
11. Visit parks and museums. Most of them are free.
PMI doesn’t protect your family if you die; it protects the lender from loss in the event they foreclose and sell the property for less than what you owe.
“Mortgage life insurance” is a scam that can be avoided by buying an ordinary term life insurance policy.
Gasoline if you are going to vote for Obama.
The state gets its money either way. No income tax = higher property and sales tax.”
Look at the tax situation another way. Colorado taxes you on the money you make, Texas taxes you on the money you spend. I’ll take our “no state income tax”.
oh yea -Tx property tax is off the chart.
Live in WA, shop in OR.
Sure is. Tax and spend state and local governments here in Texas are in full empire building mode - and party affiliation is not a factor. They ALL engage in the feeding frenzy.
$ saving ideas
Were I so wealthy that there was a marked difference between what I make and what I spend, that would certainly be a fair point. For the vast majority of us though, savings are meager and we spend what we make to survive. For people in my income bracket (which more than double the median btw) it's a push. The higher housing costs in Texas paid by in property taxes or passed on to the renter make it a push. The higher sales tax and fewer exempt items in Texas, probably make the tax burden in Texas slightly higher.
Oh yeah, without a doubt. Sales tax as well. My oldest son lives in Sabine County in Deep East Texas. The majority of residents there cross the bridge and do their shopping in Sabine Parish because everything is a lot cheaper in Louisiana. It goes deeper than the percentage you pay at the register. All of the built in taxes are also lower, which lowers the price even before the consumer sales tax is rung up. Several residents of Sabine County have a nice side business buying cartons of cigarettes to resell in Texas.
Those who believe they’re actually saving money by moving to a state with no income tax are deluding themselves. Texas is in full blown development mode at the moment, and that isn’t cheap. The state isn’t swimming in cash because the tax burden is low. Hidden and low are not synonymous.
Or,better still,move to a state with no income tax *or* sales tax.Like New Hampshire! I'm heading these soon,that's for sure.
I've always used my sleeve.Easier *and* cheaper!
Your husband must have one huge set of stones on him...!
“Or,better still,move to a state with no income tax *or* sales tax.Like New Hampshire! I’m heading these soon,that’s for sure.”
The property taxes will eat you alive. I think the idea there is to have a very modest house.
I recommend buying an extended warranty for laptop computers. I didnt do this on my last one and had to pay $120 to get the keyboard replaced because two keys had popped off.
I've already investigated that.Property taxes on similar houses are somewhat higher than Mass but the absence of the other taxes makes it a net plus for most...and by a huge margin in my case.