Stop Paying for Things You Don't Need

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September 01, 2009 | 31,302 views

There are a lot of “conveniences” you don’t really need. Once you put an end to them, it’s like giving yourself a raise. Just think about it. If you can cut out the stupid stuff, you may have the money you need to start a serious savings program or to pay down your debts.

1. Extended Warranties

Generally, they’re not worth the money. If a new gadget or appliance is going to fail, research tells us it will do so during the manufacturer’s warranty period or long after the extended warranty has expired.

2. Gym Fees

Getting roped into a legal obligation to pay a big monthly fee for the next two or three years -- whether you use the gym or not -- makes no sense. Find a gym or health club that requires no contract (you pay by the month if and when you desire). Or don’t pay at all: you can walk, jog or run for free!

3. Fast-Food Runs

Before you leave the house in the morning, figure out how much cash you’ll need for the day, then take only that amount with you. Bring your own snacks and pack a brown-bag lunch to reduce costs even more.

4. Cell Phone Apps and Ringtones

Make a hard-and-fast rule that you do not pay for ringtones, apps or games—then find them for free. They’re out there; you just have to search for the ones that work on your particular phone and with your service provider.

5. Fees (Late, Over Limit or Worse):

Getting your credit card payment in late can mean a $39 whack on the wrist. Being sloppy with your bank account and bouncing a check can cost you around $27.

6. Landline Extras

Have you looked at your home phone bill lately? You could be paying for features you never use: call forwarding, call waiting, who knows what else. Those add-ons could be costing you $15 a month or more.

7. Rental Car Insurance

Saying yes can add anywhere from $9 to $30 or more per day to the cost of the car. That’s a waste if you carry insurance on your cars at home, or if you pay with a credit card that offers rental car insurance as a perk.

8. Computer Software

Before you spend a dime, take a look at all the freeware out there. You’ll find programs written by enthusiasts and distributed with no strings attached: games, graphics, office suites, fonts, every kind of desktop tool and gadget imaginable.

9. Unlimited Texting

Most cell phone plans include a certain number of texts with the basic service. Upgrading to an unlimited plan can add $15 (about $180 per year per phone on your cell plan).

10. Bottled Water

Invest in a filter pitcher or install an inexpensive faucet filter. You’ll still come out ahead.

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