5 dumb 'deals' that waste your cash
There are so many ways to waste money, I can't name them all. But I can name 5.
The world is full of evidence that when something’s heavily advertised, it should be heavily scrutinized. In this TV news story/blog post I cover five of the countless examples.
Better idea? Find a free checking account (credit unions are a great place to look), then shop for the best savings account you can find. Some are paying as much as 3% -- still not much, but 12 times what you were earning with that “interest-bearing” checking account.
Check out the following news story, then meet me on the other side for the rest.
There are exceptions, and exceptional situations (Example: I’ve got a new puppy in my house right now, and wish I’d purchased an extended warranty on pretty much everything within her reach) but by and large these things are profit centers for the dealers that sell them more than they are profitable protection for you.
Better idea? See if your credit card offers a buyer’s protection plan, check for a good manufacturer warranty before you buy, or just take your chances. Oh, and get a muzzle for your puppy.
You’re entitled to one free credit report from each of the big three credit-reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) once every 12 months. Which means that you can get one free report from one agency every four months, thus looking in on your history several times throughout the year.
Better idea? Paying extra principal on your mortgage (or any other debt) is always a great idea. But paying some company that’s already making a ton off of you to use a “system” that you can use anytime you’d like for free? Dumb.
There’s certainly no shortage of dumb products and services out there. Those are five of our ideas. Tell me yours.
|Tags:||bankingbanksbudget travelcredit cardscredit reportsMoneyTalksMoneyTalks NewsmortgageStacy Johnson|
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ABOUT SMART SPENDING
Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
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