Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Don't Waste Your Money

Recession or not (and I'm sick of people blaming the recession or the economy for everything. Bitch, you were broke before the recession! But I digress.), it's always good to have money-saving tips handy. I read this article on Yahoo about ways we waste money. I have highlighted excerpts that stood out as follows (words from the article are italicized, my thoughts are in bold):

1) Bottled Water
Getting your recommended eight glasses of water a day by bottle instead of tap is a huge waste of cash. That buck-a-bottle water you down on a regular basis can really add up. Potential Savings: Spend $37 to buy a 40-ounce Brita pitcher and filter ($13 at Bed, Bath and Beyond), plus a four-pack of replacement filters ($24), and you'll be able to filter 200 gallons of water. Buy that much water in 24-packs of 16.9-ounce Aquafina bottles at Shop Rite instead, and you’d spend $283.50. Your total savings: $246.50.

*I can attest to this. I bought a Pur water filter that attaches to the faucet from Target for about $30 and bought a glass water bottle. I fill up the water bottle every day with the filtered water. I have never been one to drink much water, but after seeing the tangible difference in my body from drinking soda and juice all the time (not to mention the soda stomach pooch you get), to increasing my water intake, I wanted to drink water every day if possible. I felt guilty about buying water bottles because, hello, it's water! So many countries are not able to drink their own water. In America you can. But I also couldn't ignore the stories about dirty tap water, etc. So now that I have the filter and a re-usable bottle, me and my hydration can't be stopped! I also love the money I'm saving from not buying 800-packs of Ozarka, and contributing more plastic to landfills.

2) Extended Warranties
Think twice before you shell out $10 a month for a two-year protection plan on your pricey new BlackBerry. New products tend to malfunction within the manufacturer’s initial warranty period, or well after any extended warranty has expired, says Michael Gartenberg, vice president of strategy and analysis for Interpret LLC, a market researcher. (Most extended warranties exclude accidental damage, too, so you’d still be out of luck if you drop that Blackberry and crack the screen.) To protect yourself, pay with the right credit card. Many credit cards -- including most American Express and MasterCard cards -- double the manufacturer’s warranty on purchases, adding up to another year of free protection.
Potential Savings: Someone buying a 40-inch Samsung flat panel high-def television at Best Buy for $800 has the option to add a four-year protection plan for another $150. Skip it, and pocket the cash instead. (The set already has a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.)

*I'm sure I'm not the only one who has had a Wild West style stare-down with a cashier trying to get me to buy an extended warranty for whatever-the-fuck. Like, do I really need an extended warranty on a dog bed? Seriously though, they try to get you with the, "Oh it's just $136 more." Eff you and your mama. Like the article says, most stuff breaks inside the regular warranty or way down the line after whatever extended warranty you bought expires.

3) Gym Memberships
The cost of a gym membership can really rack up over the course of a year (an average of $775, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association). So make sure you're tapping into all of the discounts available to you. Check with your employer, health insurer and other membership groups like your union or alma mater to see if they offer discounts on gym and fitness club memberships, says Bob Nelson, president of Nelson Motivation, a benefits consulting firm.
Potential Savings: On your own, you’d pay $54.99 per month, plus a $49 enrollment fee, for a national access plan at Bally’s Total Fitness. Through discounter, which offers special rates for members of partner companies, you’d pay $37.80 per month plus a $29 enrollment fee for the same Bally’s membership. Over a yearlong membership, that’s $226.28 saved.
*Currently, my apartments have a little mini-gym, and I can use the #1 Stunna-style gym/recreation center at my university for no extra cost (unless you look at your student fee bill. Bitches.). But I would definitely recommend shopping around; you'd be surprised at the discounts you can find outside of the main gym chains.

Full article link above in my first paragraph. What money-wasting/saving tips do you have? I can think of at least one more, but it applies specifically to women. I will have a blog post on that tomorrow, probably.

13 jewels of thought:

oNe mAn gAng said...

thanks for this article and the link...

I laughed at the tag "the more you know", Channel 5 NBC lookin'

Oh and the only tip I have is for guys who go to the strip club (I don't...that's a TRUE waste of money for frustration): If you're gonna make it rain, learn how to recycle what the chick(s) haven't picked up yet...make it RE-Rain. That is all.

ChocolateOrchid said...

Great post!! And ROFL at oNe mAn gAng! I totally agree with the water filters.

Ways I save money:
*I tend to do my laundry on Sunday's since the H20 rates are cheaper.
*Also, nixed the landline since me and my daughter have cellphones. It was a double waste to have both.
*Nixed the cable. You were the inspiration behind that. Thanks Chica!!

And I so feel you on sales reps trying to sell you a doggone warranty.

Little Miss Knobody said...

I've been saving a lot of money by bringing my lunch to work some days instead of going out to buy something. It kinda makes me feel like a loser sometimes because I never want what I have, but I've noticed a difference in my wallet. So in the end, it's worth it.

Alicia/InstantVintage said...

Girl, you are a mess for the commentary...but you're absolutely right on the water know, they say bottled water can have more chemicals and dirty stuff in it than tap? Some bottlers don't have the same standards for purity that local governments have. Crazy right?

mrs. mary mack said...

We tend to eat out ALOT so we've recentley decided to save money by putting money onto a rechargeable gift card. When I get paid I add the money to the giftcard. Once we get to the end we are no longer allowed to eat out.This stops up from going into the houeshold account for $5.00 food trips here and there. For us staying in and cooking in the past has actually been more expensive because of the way that we eat. He's A HUGE meat eater and I could do without it on most days. (we're picky).

We have absolutely no credit cards or fluid debt so the eating out is our semi splurge.

The Jaded NYer said...

yeah, I read that article, too.

My tip?

1- Buy family sized foods, meats (if you eat meat) and then portion it out before you freeze it; the family size is usually less expensive per pound than smaller packs

2- shop at thrift stores/goodwill shops in ritzy 'hoods. Here in NYC if you go to goodwill in the upper east side you can make out like a bandit!

3- unplug everything you're not using at the moment- computers, cable box, modems, microwaves, etc. Only the fridge should be plugged in when you leave the house... you'd be amazed at how much lower your electric bill will be!

Gem said...

One Man Gang: It took me a second to realize this was you! Yeah, the first time I used that label I actually used the NBC logo with the rainbow, lol. Oh, and make it re-rain?! GET OUT. Plus, it seems like a stripper would cut a bitch if she caught on.

Chocolate Orchid: I didn't know that about cheaper water rates on Sunday?! Oh, and how could I forget cancelling cable?! I shall do another blog post about that. Yeah, we have no land lines either.

LMK: That is a great way to save money. You have to make yourself improve in the kitchen though otherwise you'll be salty at lunchtime, lol.

Alicia: I've heard that too! Also, Dasani and some of those other ones are basically bottled tap water anyway! A mess.

MMM: That's a really good idea! We used to have a "fast food/restaurant budget" but not anymore. That's got to be difficult when he eats a lot of meat and you don't.

Jaded: That Goodwill tip in the nice places is hot! Even the Targets/whatever in those areas have all kinds of new products. I love "make out like a bandit." I have kind of halfway adopted the unplugging but my husband is real ignant about ish. I can't leave a light on for 5 seconds when I'm coming right back to the room but he can blast the AC all unnecessarily. I'm tryna educate him.

The Princess said...

I loved this blog! I laughed and loved the tips! Your comment to Jaded had me laughing cuz that so sounds like my hubbie!

Vesper de Vil said...

i have never had a gym membership. i run!

for water, i use a brita filter.

other ways of saving used furniture, used clothing, etc. pick at least one day a week when you don't buy ANYTHING. that's right...NOTHING. celebrate BUY NOTHING DAY regularly. :) it keeps you aware of all the little things you spend money on that add up over coffee, snacks, etc.

Vesper de Vil said...

i don't have cable or a land line phone either! GREAT way to save! and i use SKYPE for long distance calls now.

Chanel said...

i watched the chris brown "kill the messenger" stand up last weekend and he was listing things that we waste money on. Water was the first thing he said haha. He also mentioned ringtones... lol. Which is true. Why do we spend money on that? "It used to ring for free!" he said ahaha

And you're right! people need to stop blaming the recession on everything! the people that are in the most trouble are the big shots at the top of the game. they'll get fired and then younger people wanting less pay will get hired :)

DogLover said...

Getting a good Dog Bed is one of the most important things you can do for your dog.

Gem said...

Princess-Aren't husbands just as ignant as they wanna be at times?!

Vesper: I am terrified of destroying my knees if I run. Also, I'm lazy. I like No Buy Day.

Chanel: Did you mean Chris Rock? LMAO at Chris Brown doing comedy. I LOL'D hard about the ringtone thing. I just use what my phone has or use the adaptor to transfer some of my music on there.

DogLover: Aarf?

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