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 GlobalFit.com, 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.