Here’s another article from Yahoo! Finance that lists 10 Expenses You Don’t Need and my summary of their explanations:
1. Parking – The article suggests finding free parking in the street.
2. Banking Fees of All Sorts – Don’t pay overdraft fees, use your own bank’s ATM’s, use free coin counting machines, and pay your bills online to save postage.
3. Basic Investing Advice – You can do a lot of the basics on your own for free.
4. Help Applying for Financial Aid – Instead of paying someone else $79.99, apply at www.fafsa.ed.gov for free.
5. Pet Care – Exchange pet sitting with a responsible neighbor, friend, or family member.
6. Insurance on Rental Cars – Your own collision insurance covers you and your credit card may offer free coverage as well.
7. Credit Reports – Don’t pay, just use www.annualcreditreport.com.
8. Warranties – The author used an example of a $125 warranty on a $250 phone.
9. Shipping for Online Shopping – www.freeshipping.org may help you find codes for free or discounted shipping at hundreds of online retailers.
10. Water – You can save a lot by not purchasing bottled water all the time.
Here was my first take on this list:
1. Parking – It would be awesome to find a free parking space every time, but in downtown Houston, you have a better chance of being struck by lightning on the same day you win the lottery than you do of being able to find a free parking space every time.
2. Banking Fees of All Sorts – I actually agree. You can easily avoid almost all bank fees with a little planning. If you are banking with a company that has unavoidable fees, please take a look at finding a new bank unless the fees are buying you something that you can’t get elsewhere. I’m a huge fan of ING Direct as a main bank and local credit unions for brick and mortar needs like check deposits.
3. Basic Investing Advice – I also agree. Unless you glaze over when it comes to anything money-related (which sometimes happens), you can probably figure out most basics on your own.Â You could start by reading a few posts like Dollar Cost Averaging. ;-)
4. Help Applying for Financial Aid – Yes, FAFSA is awesome if you qualify. And yes, applying for other scholarships or grants can be done on your own. BUT, if you are not a go-getter, I see nothing wrong with paying an acceptable fee to someone else to apply for a ton of free money for you. I wish I had done this since I severely slacked off and only received about half the scholarships I could have if I had just had some follow through.
5. Pet Care – My in-laws are sweet enough to watch our two small dogs for us when we go on vacation and we have friends that have offered to be backup, but that isn’t always an option for everyone. Don’t feel bad if you have to pay for pet care…it’s better than leaving them to starve, right?
6. Insurance on Rental Cars – I don’t have collision on my crummy Aveo, but Discover More does offer collision coverage on rental cars. I just have to remember to use that card when paying…
7. Credit Reports – I agree. Annual Credit Report works great and you can space out your inquiries every 4 months from the 3 different agencies. You could also use www.creditkarma.com to check your Transunion credit score for free.
8. Warranties – This is tricky. I know people who have had to use warranty coverage enough that they come out ahead almost every time. I also know that I personally have never had anything break when it could have still been under a warranty, so I’ve come out way ahead by NOT buying them. It’s definitely a gamble either way. I’d rather just “self-insure” – I probably wouldn’t want the same product anyway if it couldn’t last longer than a warranty’s coverage period.
9. Shipping for Online Shopping – I hadn’t heard of www.freeshipping.org until this week, so I can’t vouch for it. I do shop online – a lot. My rule of thumb is to find the best overall deal – item price plus shipping. That means that sometimes I end up finding it on Amazon and can get the shipping for free with Amazon Prime (long story, but I don’t pay for it) or sometimes it’s cheaper even with shipping elsewhere. This system always works for a good deal and I rarely have to drive to actual stores, yay! :-)
10. Water – Bottled water seems weird to me. We like the bottles, so we do purchase a case or two twice a year and refill the bottles with tap water until they have become unwashable, but I couldn’t imagine living on bottled water alone. That would be really expensive and I can’t taste the difference. I have a really awful sense of taste (my pallet sucks), but that comes it handy more often than not, lol. ;-)
What do you think of their list?