5 Stupid Things You’re Wasting Money On

5 Stupid Things You're Wasting Money On

We all buy stupid things every now and then, but for some of us the impulse to buy junk is an irresistible force. The key to financial freedom and independence is to stop wasting money on foolish things so you can invest in more worthwhile endeavors like paying down debt or in funding your Roth IRA.

Here are 5 of the stupidest things you’re wasting money on.

Extended Warranty

You’ve scrimped and saved to buy that big ticket item like a television set and you’re finally headed through the checkout line when the clerk asks if you’d like the extended warranty. The added protection in case anything should happen would be nice, right? You figure it’s only a few dollars more so why not go for it. Wrong.

It turns out that many extended warranties expire at the exact same time as the manufacturer warranty. Even if they don’t, if you paid with a credit card you may already have added one additional year to the manufacturers warranty anyway.

Gym Membership

If you actually use your gym membership, good for you. But if you’re like everyone else, cancel that membership immediately and save your money. While you may be optimistic about your odds of hitting the gym every day beginning on January 1st, statistics show that up to two thirds of gym memberships go unused. The odds say you’ll start strong and then fizzle out weeks later.

Unfortunately because of the way gyms operate, they lock you into 1 to 3 year contracts so even if you want to cancel early, you’ll still have to pay the entire contract off. So until you’ve established going to the gym as a daily routine for a few months, stick to a month to month contract to start.

New Car

While it’s always nice to enjoy the latest features and to be the first person to sit behind the wheel, new cars depreciate faster than anything else you own. According to edmunds.com, your car loses 10 percent of its value the first mile you drive it off the lot.

Instead of driving a shiny new car with that new car smell, buy a 3 year old used car in great condition. This way, the previous owner will take the big depreciation hit, not you. You’ll wind up saving money and if you get a low-mileage car you’ll still get all the warranty coverages as well.

Credit Card Interest

Don’t be seduced by credit cards with great reward programs. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Browse the terms entirely to see if there are any yearly fees or if the interest rate is high.

If you end up charging too many things you can’t pay it off in time, you’ll make the stupid financial mistake of paying high interest fees. Only use your credit card when you can pay off the balance in one month. Otherwise, you’re just giving the credit card companies free money.

Life Insurance For Children

You want to be the best parent you can and if you believe those Gerber mailings, children’s life insurance is the hallmark of a loving parent. Besides, if your child makes it through adolescence you can always use the money for their college tuition, right

Unfortunately, the point of life insurance is to replace a lost income and most kids aren’t bringing in any money to family coffer, so you can feel fine about skipping the insurance.

10 Ways Being Frugal Can Cost You Money

10 Ways Being Frugal Can Cost You Money

Spending less is always a good thing, isn’t it?  Well actually, the answer may sometimes be no. In certain circumstances, being cheap can cost you big money down the road.

Many times when people act frugally they forget the hidden ways that cutting corners today can cost you money tomorrow. So you don’t fall prey to the pitfalls of being frugal, watch out these 10 ways your thrifty habits can backfire.

Buying Cheap Food

Your waistline and your health will benefit from fresh foods and if you’re flexible in your eating habits, you can still enjoy good food without going over your grocery store budget.

Fresh meat, vegetables and dairy products are more expensive than their pre-packaged counterparts, but nutritious food is worth the added expense.

Slashing Your Budget Too Much

While you may not miss items you cut from your budget initially, underestimating your expenses will ultimately cause your master plan to fail.

For example, shaving your grocery store budget too much may work for a couple weeks until you have run out of staples and need to make additional trips to the store to re-stock.


If you love to clip coupons you probably do it for the savings at the register. Unfortunately, if you get too extreme with your couponing, you could end up with a stockpile of items you’ll never really use.

Remember, it’s not that good of a deal if you buy 4 and get the 5th free. Only coupon for items you’d buy anyway and never purchase more than you can use before the sell by date.

Being Under-Insured

While it’s tempting to opt for the bare minimum level of coverage on your insurances to save money on premiums, it may not be the right way to save money for you.

If an emergency comes up or if you get into a car accident, you’ll be looking at huge out-of-pocket costs and enormous deductibles that will void your savings and put a strain on your budget.

Skipping Yearly Checkups

When it comes to health, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. While skipping your yearly checkup seems tempting today, the sacrifice to your health may not be worth it.

The same applies for all your family members and don’t forget the dog either.

Buying Cheaper Big-Ticket Items

If you need to spend money on something expensive, it’s best to just get a good model and get it over with. By getting the cheaper alternative it will end up costing you in the long run.

Take a car for example, buying a cheap car will save you money today, but could cost you more in the long run than a good car because of repairs and maintenance costs.

Likewise, buying a cheap TV from an unknown brand can end up costing you more because your set may fail prematurely. A warranty won’t matter either if the company’s already out of business.

Putting Off Car Maintenance Or Repairs

Routine maintenance is required to keep your car running at its best. It’s also helpful for catching small problems that you may not notice on your own. When fixed early, most small car issues won’t become catastrophic issues down the line which means you’ll save money.

By saving money on delaying that rattling noise or small leak, you could possibly be ignoring a major issue and you could put yourself in danger as well.

Shopping At A Warehouse Club

Warehouse clubs are great for businesses and people with large families, but for a lot of people the bulk sizes aren’t realistic. When shopping at a warehouse store, always look at the use by date and figure out if you can realistically use the item before it expires. If you can’t, the bulk pricing may not be such a great deal after all.

Increasing Your Deductibles

While increasing your deductible on your homeowners or auto insurance will lower your monthly premiums, it’s a risky proposition. In the event you need to file a claim the cost of the high deductible will be a hard pill to swallow.

For example, if you have a $2,000 deductible on your auto insurance policy then any fender bender or broken dash will all be your responsibility to fix.

Using Daily Deal Sites

Daily deal websites like Groupon or LivingSocial offer huge discounts on services, products and events. At least at first glance they do. Often times, a deal advertised at 50% off isn’t what it appears to be. The seller has simply inflated their “retail value” up by 50% and you’re really not getting a good deal at all.

But even if the offer truly is a good deal, by using these sites you can easily spend hundreds of dollars a year on things you weren’t planning on spending on at all. All this just so you don’t pass up on a so-called great deal.

Save Money On Your Car Insurance

Having car insurance, in most states, is the law. But you don’t have to break the bank to insure your automobile. Here are 8 steps you can take to save money on your car insurance premiums.


If you want to pay less on your auto insurance policy, increase your deductible. You should raise your deductible to the highest amount allowed. If it’s $1,000, raise it to that amount and then put away $1,000 in your bank account in case your car is damaged.


Insurance companies give discounts for a variety of different reasons. If you’ve been a long time customer, you’ll get a discount. There are occupational-based discounts too for those in the military, teachers, nurses, etc. They also give discounts for being good students or having a good driving record. Inquire with your insurance agent for a full list of their discounts. It doesn’t cost anything to ask. For all you know, you may qualify for one, two or even three different discounts.


Are you under-insured or over-insured? If your goal is to have more money in the bank then you should look toward lowering your coverage. Just get the legal minimum coverage to save the most amount of money. And don’t bother getting full coverage on older cars, it’s just not worth it.

Bundle And Save

Insurance companies would love to have you as a customer for an auto insurance policy. But they’d love it even more if you insured your life and home with them too. It’s not only good for them, it’s good for you too. Insurance companies will offer you a discount on both your home and car insurance and other types of insurance if you bundle them together.

Comparison Shop

Before you buy vegetables at the grocery store, you shop around for the best prices. You should also do the same for your car insurance. From company to company, aut insurance prices vary widely. Don’t just shop for prices one time and then forget all about it. Companies change their rates all the time. Every year re-evaluate your coverage by getting a quote online, it’s free after all.

Get A Car That’s Cheap To Insure

Not all cars are made the same, at least according to auto insurance companies. Most cars will cost you about the same to insure, but some vehicles will make you have second thoughts about that muscle car you bought. The car insurance companies know which cars are more likely to get in a car accident and more expensive to repair, so they automatically jack up the rates for anyone else who also owns that make of vehicle.

Car Safety Discounts

If your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes, air bags and/or a car alarm, your auto insurance company may give you a discount. The safer both you and your car are, due to the equipment, the lower your policy will be.

Credit Score

Increasingly, auto insurance companies are using your credit score to determine how much to charge you. For many, this seems unfair, as it has nothing to do with your car and your driving record. But the insurance co’s make a good point. They state that their records show that those with good credit make fewer insurance claims than those with bad credit.