5 Ways to Save Some Money
11/26/2012 5:38:00 AM
WANT TO SAVE MONEY?
Want to save money? Stop buying bottled water. And lottery tickets. In your quest to pinch pennies, you already brown bag your lunch, have given up your morning latte and try to go a week longer between haircuts. There are other ways to save bucks, too, but they may not be as obvious. Time magazine identified five things you should stop buying right now because they add no value to your life and just eat up your hard-earned dollars.
1. Alternative Flu Remedies
The ads try to convince you to soothe your aches and pains with expensive herbs or vitamin supplements. Don't fall for it, especially in a fevered state. The Centers for Disease Control is emphatic that there is no scientific evidence that any herbal, homeopathic or other folk remedies have any benefit against influenza.
The one exception? Homemade chicken soup. We all know that will make you feel better, especially if Mom makes it.
2. Unlimited Cell Phone Minutes
The all-you-can-talk plan means you can talk all day and night if you want and never pay extra charges. But do you really talk that much? TIME advises you to check your bill to see how many actual minutes you typically use each month. Chances are, it's near the typical family-plan threshold of 700 minutes.
The one exception? If you have a houseful of teenagers, carefully tally your minutes from six months of bills before opting out of an all-you-can-talk plan.
3. Bottled Water
It's easy, convenient and they say it's from a pure, natural spring somewhere far away. But the truth is that bottled water is similar to or the same as your tap water and treated with the same chemicals. Bottled water is not only expensive, but also hurts the environment.
The one exception? If you're traveling in a country where the water is not safe to drink, do buy bottled water.
4. Lottery Tickets
Who hasn't played the lottery wish game, wondering what you would do with all those millions and millions of dollars? Before you get too besotted with the idea of quitting your job and sailing around the world on your yacht, know this: The odds of winning the big one are 1 in 195,249,054. As TIME points out, compare that to the odds of a meteor striking the Earth: 1 in 700,000.
The one exception? Unless you figured out a way to beat the odds of winning, there isn't one.
5. Credit Card Payment Insurance
The sales pitch goes like this: Pay an extra monthly fee and if you lose your job or become disabled, the credit card company will pay your credit card bill for you. The reality is that this insurance will cost you several hundred dollars a year and there are so many exceptions, you'll probably never collect.
The one exception? There isn't one. It's a terrible idea any way you look at it.