I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you're wasting money. It's easy to do, what with so many retail sales tricks getting you to spend when you should be saving. Here are five ways you're burning a hole in your wallet.
Buying brand names
Brand name does not guarantee better quality. Often, brand names are exactly the same as generic equivalents, but with different packaging. Companies want to sell to both consumer groups: those seeking deals and those seeking quality. Save your money and buy generic. You'll be getting quality for less money.
The moment you drive a new car off the lot, its value decreases. Older cars, used books and secondhand clothes are not only as good as the newer versions, but also they also cost dramatically less and make you smarter and hipper. Recycling is also trendy and beneficial to the environment.
Subscribing to cable
It seems sinful to keep dishing out money for cable TV when you can get your media fix for free via the Internet. Hulu offers more than enough complimentary TV shows and movies that can be accessed 24/7. Free is much better than whatever you're spending on cable. And if you want to spend a little more for more options, try Netflix for $7.99 a month.
Years ago, ATMs popped up everywhere and we all thought it was courteous of our banks to be so accommodating. Over the years, we just grew to accept nominal fees to take out our own money, but not anymore. ATMs now charge anywhere from $1 to $4 to access your own cash, and sometimes your bank adds another fee on top of that. Over a month's time, you could be looking at paying the bank double digits to use your own money.
Dissing dollar stores
Driving past your local dollar store? Stop and take a look around. It has a host of products all costing about a dollar or slightly more that are worth your attention. There are many items that you're spending double or triple to buy at other stores when you simply don't need to do that. Just don't pretend it's Christmas and buy everything you see!