Credit & Debt, Credit Cards, Investing, Lifestyle, Money saving, Stocks

The 7 Dumbest Things You Waste Money On Every Single Month

One of the most common questions on the popular game-show Family Feud is “Name something people wish they had more of.” Do you know that the #1 answer always is? That’s right…money. But with so many people wanting more money, it’s quite amazing how much of the money people already have is wasted on dumb things they don’t need. Here are 7 things people frequently waste money on:

Expensive Coffee

That’s right, I’m talking to you Mrs. Skinny, no whip, Double Soy Mocha latte with a shot of espresso. Oh yeah, and that will be $4.50. $4.50…for coffee?!? If you bought cheaper coffee and invested $3.50 a day into the market starting at age 25 you could have $225,000 extra when you retire!

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High credit card interest rates

The average American household with at least one credit card has nearly $16,000 in credit card debt. With interest rates in the high-teens, you could flush a lot of money down the toilet every month on credit card interest payments. However, it’s possible to save hundreds of dollars a year by reducing your credit card interest rate through debt consolidation.

One website called Prosper Marketplace let’s you consolidate your debt or take loans for other personal expenses. Your interest rate could be as low as 6.73% with payback terms of 3 or 5 years. You can get a free loan rate-quote here. Consolidating your high interest credit card debt into a lower rate could save you thousands of dollars.

Overpriced car insurance

Everyone knows that having car insurance is required by law. But there’s nothing in the law about having overpriced car insurance! Many people are over-paying for their car insurance every month and don’t even know it. Have you shopped around for rates recently? If not, you could be wasting money every month.

Websites like eSurance.com make it easy to compare multiple car insurance quotes in just a few minutes so you can compare rates and save.

ATM Fees From Your Bank

Sometimes when you need cash the $3 fee does not seem like much. But if you frequently take out small amounts of cash at the ATM, that fee can add up. Save yourself the $3 by going into your bank and taking out larger sums of cash less frequently. (Of course, be sure that you’re not spending more than $3 in gas to go there!)

Expedited shipping

Unless you absolutely need something right away, don’t pay more for faster shipping. Take a deep-breath and wait the few extra days for standard shipping. You can spend that money better elsewhere.

High-interest mortgage payments

Having a mortgage is not a bad thing. But paying too much for it is. Many homeowners have a rate that is much higher than their current interest rate (hovering around 4%). It’s been hard for many homeowners to refinance over the past few years due to the housing market crash and the equity they lost in their homes, but now that home values are back up across the country it’s time to consider refinancing again.

LendingTree.com is a website that allows homeowners to compare home and automobile refinancing rates from multiple lenders. This way you can get multiple rates and pick the best one for you. You can save a substantial amount of money every month by refinancing into a lower mortgage rate.

Brand-name products

There’s nothing like social pressure to make you waste your money on things you don’t need. A family of four may spend as much as $500 a month extra shopping for brand-name goods vs. generic goods of similar quality. If you spent $100 less and bought generic products your could invest the savings towards your retirement instead!

Tobacco products

A pack of 20 cigarettes can range from $4.00 to $14.00 So if you smoke a pack a day, that means you waste $1,500 to $5,00  a year on a habit that brings you no tangible gain. But on top of that, smokers also waste millions of dollars of other people’s money through the health care system, where their insurance costs are lumped in together with non-smokers, increasing the cost of everyone’s medial care.

Conclusion

It’s always tempting to spend extra money on little things here and there, but always be sure to have a firm grasp on everything you spend money on and look at the big picture of your spending habits. You may be surprised to learn how much money you can save by cutting back on a few things!

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480 Comments

  1. 1

    you know, I think no matter what we do here in America, we can not save money, the system of making money to people here is trade to expand, not trade to profit, which will make a huge different between the two, they let you trade, but will never let you make a profit, they let you trade again to expand your trade and spend more money, not gain money. I have been almost 12 yrs. but I never ever see money making system like American’s system, but what bad about it, it’s the government money make system not the people, and you decide.

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            People tell themselves that they have plenty of time to save later, but the reality is that a decade of extra saving could double or triple your total on the other end, because compounding is so powerful over multiple decades. Find ways to put money away. These are my favorites:
            1. Eat out 1 less, This saves $50-$100 per week or even more depending upon your habits.

            2. Insurance can be found cheaper if you get it yourself online rather than paying a salesman. For instance my life insurance from Life Ant costs $14 a month.

            3. Make a list when you grocery shop, and don’t deviate. Same with cloths and goods. Buy what you need and nothing more.

            4. Get a service like Netflix for less than $10 a month, rather than spending $50+ on cable.

            5. Find your biggest waste by keeping a budget for 2 weeks and tracking every expense. Find a way to cut it in half.

            When you put it all in investments like Vanguard Index funds, it will add up quickly, and massively over time.

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          You apparently are able to lower you skill sets to match his pidgin ‘English’?! Or just maybe you did NOT have to lower yours..

      • 15

        It is obvious that English is dunya’s second language. ohiodale, how many languages can you write even reasonably well in?

        • 16

          You hit the nail directly on its head with your reply! Good for you! I am an American so don’t think I am anti American. Those who criticize others who are at least attempting to use English (or any other language) should be applauded not criticized. To the person who criticizes..please do enlighten us as to how many languages you are fluent in…perhaps you do not even speak English fluently!

          • 17

            Dunya is an Arabic word. It means “world,” and is sometimes used as a girl’s name.

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            I’ve been friends with countless people from other countries, and the person that many of you are insulting is doing very well. I’ve learned a lot of Spanish, and in doing so, I’ve learned A LOT about how hard it can be. And English is a very difficult language to learn.

          • 21

            Well said. I have worked for a company where the person on the other side was getting very upset that I did not speak his/her language, but let me remind them that I live in the USA, and as far as I know, English is the language spoken, although not official, it is what it is, and I do not live in Guadalajara….I live in Illinois, so why should I be the one to lear your language , when it is you that has to lear ours, otherwise take your bags and go where you came from…and see how much opportunities you will get in your country!!! Enough said…!!!!

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          Well done Candy. Here is what I wrote the dumb guy ” Priness” who comment on the person not speaking english.

          “so what? do you faukin speak spanish? Do not stupid shit comment on people who does not speak english, so get your faukin asshole checked and learn your spanish”.

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          dunya is saying that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and the middle class dwindles away. hope thats simple enough

        • 30

          He/She is trying to say that the US system is based upon consumption not investment. It needs people to keep spending. Saving is discouraged with low interest rates. At the same time free money is available through 0 interest credit cards (money is available at 0% as the govt is printing money and making it available to banks at 0% so its effectively the govt giving free money to you). So as long as Americans keep borrowing and spending (and definitely spending all their salary no saving) the economy works. Over years your salary may go up but your savings won’t. There is in your face marketing and social pressure to always spend more and if you do get in over your head there is bankruptcy

          • 31

            Well, if you want to know what will really chomp through your money as quickly as a cabbage worm, try cell phones. Yes, those Smart Phones are really smart as are the companies who sell them. I have seen cell phone bills as high as a thousand dollars a month for some families. Everyone from the toddler to the teen and mom and dad and grandma has to have a Smart Phone. Then they need data to run the Smart Phone to get online during their power walk, while driving (((Crash!!!))), while eating with the family, while on an office break. No one even talks on the phone any more. They either email, SMS, or text. No one communicates face to face any more either. They text each other from across the room.

            Going online is wonderful, on a computer not on a phone. I have a nice little basic phone that cost me around $50 back in 2005. I pay $38 a month to talk to friends, clients, and other people worth talking to. I rarely text but no problem if people text me. And I am not running up a $1000 bill each month because I have to have instant Facebook at my finger tips.

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        You are a very rude person, to say such a comment. Everyone else seem to understand. Maybe it’s you w/ a reading problem, because if you really couldn’t understand where he was coming from. Than I say it’s back to second grade for you. I mean really???? Or were you just being mean and a ugly, bitter person? If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all. WE have enough pollution, try keeping your mouth shut and being part of the solution and not the problem.

        Robin

      • 37

        Ohiodale,
        HOW many languages do YOU speak?? I bet you speak only English. If that is the case, then you have no room for comments. I myself speak more then one. I am currently brushing up on my Spanish as well. Folks should be encouraged to practice their written and especially their spoken English. Bilingualism is something that is taken for granted and taught in MOST countries.
        Bina

        • 38

          People come up to me in public all the time and snarl at us to “learn English, or go back where you came from.” Their reaction when we tell them what the language is? PRICELESS. Oh – by the way, my native language is Tsalagi (Cherokee to them).

          • 39

            since everybody is complaining I will too! I’m against speaking a foreign language in the USA–learn to speak American English! That is one of the major complaints a-lot of Americans have, do foreign countries cater to those that do not speak their language….NO!! So why should the USA? Shouldn’t it be one of the things to get citizenship? or do they just have to be able to say a FEW words in ENGLISH? IN AMERCA SPEAK ENGLISH!!!!!!

          • 40

            puddintain, I agree with you that everybody should speak American English when in the US but when I was in Europe, almost everybody there spoke and understood English well enough that I didn’t have to worry about my rudimentary Romantic language skills. Every visitor and immigrant I have met has tried to use English to the best of their ability and apologizes for their mistakes. Here in Hawaii we have a lot of Asian visitors and immigrants not to mention the Hawaiian language that permeates every facet of life here in the islands. Please try to be more tolerant.

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        Ohiodale, How many languages do you use on a regular basis? Writing in a second language is difficult and it appears the writer is using his second language. Until you can communicate in multiple languages don’t critize those able to do so.

        • 45

          You know I wasn’t going to comment because everyone basically is saying the same thing I was thinking. I have friends from High School (out almost 20 years now) whose parents NEVER and WILL NEVER learn English. Dunya at least attempts it and has learned it. Sure he/she made a couple mistakes but are you all who are criticizing really that perfect and not flawed? I doubt it. And as for you puddintain we in America tolerate people not speak American English because America has never adopted a language as their own. France has adopted the French Language, Germany has made German their language. But look it up. America does not have an official language. Until the Government makes it the official language they don’t have to do anything and we have to tolerate it. Yes it would be nice for the people who come here to learn the English language but what can you do?

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        It may be hard but no impossible.A good reader can read a 20 word sentence if you unscramble it.Some people are asshole. And some are a whole ass.

      • 50

        Ohiodale cannot understand what dunya write because the american system is engraved in his/her mind. You have to be open minded to understand outside perspective.

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      Totally agree- the system is designed for you to always spend, but with the false hope that your house will be your secure savings… never seen a savings that I invest $500k over the life of the loan not to mention upkeep, and I have a $250k house still at the end. That is, IF I make it all 30 years without starting the clock over by moving or losing my job.

      Look at your savings account- that $20k cash will get you 0.02% interest, but yet inflation will reduce it by 1-2% in value per year. Thanks to our government and big business/money interests. They tell you the only way to get ahead is to gamble on stocks, where they charge you more than you make for the transaction fee… when AL CAPONE calls the market “a racket”, the people should listen; this coming from a man who knows a “racket”!!!

      • 53

        Another thing that irks me about the economy in America is the way we are taxed. I understand that taxes are necessary. I want to pay my taxes toward law enforcement, military protection, education, roadways, etc. However, if you are a millionaire, you should not be paying the same rate as I am. You should be paying MORE. I think a flat tax percentage would work so much better than whatever we have in place now that allows wealthy people to launder half their money so that they pay less in taxes. It pisses me off. I remember when my husband and I first got married. We lived on about $25,000 a year for quite a while. He got his first full-time “career” job (still has it) making almost $40,000. We thought we were rich! $55,000/year between the two of us? Holla! I stayed home for 10 years with my children while his pay gradually went up. We survived, a family of 5, at $75,000 or so. It was great. Then I went back to work and now we broke the elusive 6 figures. Those two twenty-somethings from almost 25 years ago never dreamed they’d see the day! But guess what? We live on less than we did before. It disgusts me. Our house is almost paid off, which reduces are deductions. Two out of three of our boys are 17 and up, another deduction gone (even though one is in college and the other still lives at home and relies on us for food, shelter, and clothing), and because we make $100,000, there are numerous other things we can no longer deduct. In a nutshell, the system is set up to favor the very wealthy or the very poor. The middle class cannot possibly get ahead, because every time your income increases, your tax rate goes up so much that you don’t really make much more at all. I have friends who’ve turned down raises and promotions because it made their paycheck go DOWN!! Has anyone else experienced these things?

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          I agree about a flat rate tax. The problem is that too many people say that but don’t vote accordingly. The Republicans try to convince you that all businesses will perish if anyone with a fat income is taxed more. Rubbish! Don’t vote for those who propose to keep taxes down for the rich (over $150K income).

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            Since when did 150K become “rich”. I’m self employed and my husband has a corporate job. Between the two of us we make just over 200K. We’ve already paid close to 58K in various taxes for 2014 and will pay more on capital gains earned through investing. Oh, and we saved over 50K last year by driving a 15 year old car, having a reasonable payment on a second car, not buying crap we don’t need and making paying ourselves first a priority. And yes, when we got married 20 years ago our combined income was under 50K. I clean my own house, mow my own lawn, cook our food, etc. Hard work people and living smart will reward you in the long run. Quit whining and get off your rear end.

          • 58

            Oh, God! Stop it, Izzy and Milton.

            150K would be ‘rich’ probably to 90% of Americans, who most of are getting by on $30,000-$60,000 a year, and supporting families while doing it. If you’re not a professional athlete, actor, music artist, top ranking military official, CEO, or at the top end of some medical professions, you’re not making $150K a year. You two sound like half the population is making that much, when most likely 80% or greater DOESN’T make it.

            I would gladly take $150K a year. Sure, it would suck to be in that tax bracket, but comparing that to living every year, paycheck to paycheck, barely sliding by, getting a paltry refund, and reading articles like this, I’ll take my chances ‘sliding by’ on a ‘measly’ 150K a year and not getting a refund every tax season.

            I know what you’re TRYING to imply, that a six figure salary is overrated (to some) and people with such salaries still find ways to be in financial difficulty. Ok, sure. Yeah. I hear ya. Again, I’ll gladly try it and let me see if I can handle it. I think most Americans would take the same chance.

        • 59

          when I was young and single we always joked you make more money by calling in sick one day a week …after taxes….

        • 60

          Amen Kelly, try living in California and making 120K…..22k in income tax and we still can’t afford to buy a house here.

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          I do not understand Kelly’s comment. The existing tax rates increase as income increases. This means the higher incomes already pay higher taxes. A flat tax rate would lower taxes for those with higher incomes. It sounds like Kelly wants those with higher incomes to pay more (which they already do) and not less (what a flat tax rate would do). Currently, deductions decrease as income goes up so that those with higher incomes are taxed more than those with lower incomes (which is what I think Kelly wants). I would like to have a more specific proposal from Kelly as to how the tax rates should be adjusted in order to better understand. I think a flat tax rate with a generous exemption per person and few deductions would be best to let people spend money as they see fit and not as those in Washington think it should be spent.

          • 63

            only to a certain point first of anyone who makes less than 7500.00 pays no tax if you make less than 33,000 in a year you can claim 7500 as unearned income tax free if you make over 50,000 but less than 150,000 you no longer qualify for unearned income credit lets keep going if you 150,000 to 500,000 you fall into another tax bracket you now pay 20 % in income tax and do not qualify for any deductions except what you have over paid 500,000 to 1,000,000 you qualify for 1 unearned income credit 1,000,000 and up you again qualify for the same exact unearned income credits as does the single mom working 2 jobs and barely nmaking 15,000 dollars a year

          • 64

            In response to Kelly on January 2nd.

            Kelly’s post:

            “Another thing that irks me about the economy in America is the way we are taxed. I understand that taxes are necessary. I want to pay my taxes toward law enforcement, military protection, education, roadways, etc. However, if you are a millionaire, you should not be paying the same rate as I am. You should be paying MORE. I think a flat tax percentage would work so much better than whatever we have in place now that allows wealthy people to launder half their money so that they pay less in taxes. It pisses me off. ”

            Reponse:

            Kelly, you know what pisses me off? People who have no idea what they are talking about…and then rant publicly over their own misinformation.

            Just Google a basic income tax table for 2015 — tax rates rise as household income rises. The wealthier you become, the higher your tax bracket. The rich pay a higher percentage of taxes, period. At some point, Income tax reaches almost 40% for that millionaire you’re talking about. What’s YOUR current tax bracket? Likely much lower.

            “The United States federal government taxes personal income using a graduated scale. Personal income tax rates start at 10% and gradually increase to 15%, then 25%, then 28%, then 33%, then 35%, and finally reaching a top rate of 39.6%. Each tax rate applies to a specific range of income. This range is called a tax bracket. Where each tax bracket begins and ends varies depending on a person’s filing status. Tax rates can also vary depending on the type of income a person has. Ordinary tax rates apply to most types of income. A separate tax rate schedule applies to income from long-term capital gains and qualified dividends.”*

            *(Quote taken from “http://taxes.about.com/od/Federal-Income-Taxes/fl/Federal-Income-Tax-Rates-for-the-Year-2015.htm?utm_term=federal%20tax%20rates%202015&utm_content=p1-main-1-title&utm_medium=sem&utm_source=msn&utm_campaign=adid-03a672b0-91c5-4779-b580-2e9ea1eea217-0-ab_msb_ocode-22872&ad=semD&an=msn_s&am=broad&q=federal%20tax%20rates%202015&dqi=&o=22872&l=sem&qsrc=999&askid=03a672b0-91c5-4779-b580-2e9ea1eea217-0-ab_msb”

        • 65

          Flat tax rate would work but our politicians have brain washed the “poor” / uneducated to believe under the flat rate tax the “rich” will not be paying the same amount as everyone else. America is a great country but unfortunately it has starting to be come a government state and going toward socialism.

          • 66

            It is happening right before our eyes. They take slowly and force laws that can never be turned around. There is no turning back and Government will run our lives. In 2016 I hope Scott Walker Runs for President , He has downsized Government and lets people keep their hard earned money.

        • 67

          Read This:
          Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this…

          The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing
          The fifth would pay $1
          The sixth would pay $3
          The seventh would pay $7
          The eighth would pay $12
          The ninth would pay $18
          The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59
          So, that’s what they decided to do.

          The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball.

          “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20″. Drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.

          The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men ? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

          The bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

          And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).
          The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving).
          The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving).
          The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving).
          The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving).
          The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving).
          Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

          “I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,”but he got $10!”

          “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!”

          “That’s true!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

          “Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison, “we didn’t get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!”

          The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

          The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

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            I agree with Oleta. I am an enthusiast of the Arts. I also believe that representation of problems in the economy and the government using the Arts is a very simple and effective way of explaining what these problems are, and showing how fragile the government and economy actually is.

          • 70

            So your point is!
            Wheres the punch line……wtf no punch line that was some story buddy. Next week the conclusion to the story….the tenth man meets the nine men and gets his revenge by spraying bullets to all the nine men who beat him up and wasnt taxed a single penny in his little temper tantrum.

          • 71

            Sounds so perfectly logical….except ou forgot the part about the very wealthy getting the investment income at 10% taxes vs the rest of us who paid up to 40%

          • 72

            then they all go to jail for dunk driving and the rest of the world won’t have to see their ugly beer belly’s for a while

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            Your story doesn’t quite match the reality of American economy. In American economy, the tenth man actually drank a lot more beer than the rest. Over the last 30 years, the top 10% earners of the USA have gotten close to 50% of the share of wealth. So even though the tenth man paid a lot more, he actually also benefited a lot more from the arrangement with the other nine.

        • 75

          You’re absolutely right, Kelly. When it’s all said and done, the sacrifice and commitment that goes along with being a high earner in society is not well rewarded. I know people who stop working at a particular point in the year because of the tax issue. The country rewards laziness and mediocrity, not ambition and success.

        • 76

          if you think 6 figures is average than you are not up to date on the situation of today’s salaries. my household survives on less than $30,000. we don’t NEED all the best things we have what matters, our health and each other

          • 77

            The problem is we tax income instead of Wealth. The govt provides services like Police and Courts to protect people’s wealth. So they should charge according to the amount of wealth they protect. However they are too lazy as its difficult to figure out net worth spread across many assets so they go after income. This means rich folks sitting around and living on interest don’t pay much but hard working doctors who have huge debts from medschool and are earning a large income get taxed heavily and are not left with much. A much fairer system would be a 1% flat wealth tax with no exemptions (not even for the Church) and abolish Income, Sales ,Customs and all other taxes. A 1% tax on wealth (America has 100 Trillion net worth) would bring in 1 Trillion in taxes. We have a 2 trillion budget but 1 trillion should be enough as we won’t have to provide a lot of social services which we do today because we charge the poor a lot more in taxes than the rich.
            The poor pay exactly the same sales tax as the rich . So if a guy earns 10000 and spend 10000 a year he pays 600 in sales taxes. A rich man earning 1000000 a year is not going to spend 1000000, he will spend say 20000 so he pay 1200 in sales taxes. As a percentage of income the rich guy pays much less. As a percentage of wealth he pays minuscule.
            Again Income tax may go up with salary but a rich man gets most of income from stocks and stocks are taxed at a very low rate. A poor man may get salary but a rich man may be a sole proprietorship and may be able to write off his car, apartment (home office), lunch(client entertainment), vacations/conferences all as business expenses and have to pay no ta on it while the salary earner will pay all of this out of post tax salary and also pay sales tax on the same.

          • 78

            Apparently you are a retiree with no mortgage payment or kids or have gotten a free home or windfall inheritance or live in the middle of friggin nowhere. Congratulations. Can’t wait for the good times when I can survive on 30K a year. You are such a simple mind or a liar to think everyone on earth can survive on that.

        • 79

          The only thing I have to say is Megamillions and Powerball.
          The two lottos, sponsored by your counties are a tax, for those who wish to pay it. I look forward to it, EVERY SINGLE WEEK.

          If you dedicate some part of your salary to that, and know that you’re going to play it ever single week, w/o fail, you’ve established your chance of winning something significant, as I hope my “numbers come up”. Then, should you hit the big one, there will be no need to worry how the USA does it’s taxes.

          • 80

            I have little knowledge of how much spent on lottery tickets goes into the pot, and how much goes to the state and the seller, but the fact that 100% of teh money doesn’t go into the pot makes buying lottery tickets very much a loser’s game.

            I admit I have never bought a lottery ticket in my life. I suspect they are not selling a chance to make a fortune they are selling a chance to daydeam about getting a fortune for which one did not have to work hard and creatively.

            W.

        • 81

          Kelly and others, I COMPLETELY agree! We lived at the poverty level for the first ten years of our marriage, I homeschooled our three kids–one of whom had special needs, but the local school system REFUSED to provide services for him, illegally saying that their special needs classes were too crowded. So, we were a one-income family with huge medical bills, no special education for one of our children, and at one point, to get us out of poverty, my husband worked his tail off to pay off all of our medical bills working 3 jobs, and we both went back to graduate school (on our dime) to increase our earning ability. Now, we’re out of debt, no school loans or credit cards, he and I work AND I’m still homeschooling our two teens (oldest one has a full ride to college based on academic scholarships for good grades and tons of volunteer work during high school years), husband has been promoted and earned a bonus this year…and I just looked at our taxes for 2014. We have now lost two of our three child tax credits since two of our children are over 17, even though we pay more for our two teens (one is still special needs!) living at home now than five years ago. Social security taxes have gone up the past two years in a row (I suppose to pay for Obamacare, Amnesty, cell phones, and food stamps for the hundreds of thousands of adults in this country who sit at home and play video games all day instead of going to work). Federal taxes have gone up slightly, though not as much as Social Security and Medicare. Now that we’ve finally broken the six-figure income, we pay more in taxes as a percentage than someone making just a little less than we do. I refuse to vote for anybody who raises taxes even one time. Obama voted 13 times out of 14 to raise taxes when he was in Congress, so it doesn’t surprise me a bit that he’s whining about raising taxes again and again and constantly threatening to take away the few tax credits and deductions that working people have left. I’m all in favor of a flat tax, but it’ll NEVER happen in this country. Too many people don’t care or don’t understand the unfairness of the tax system enough to realize why our tax system doesn’t work. We give too many handouts to non-workers, citizens and illegals alike. For $40, an illegal alien can go to downtown Nashville, purchase a fake social security card with a dead person’s number, and receive thousands in government benefits each year. Wish my investments made that kind of return! If the social security card thieves (and that’s what they really are) have children, it’s tens of thousands in benefits, PLUS…if the kiddos were born here, they are now officially U.S. citizens AND they get to vote when they turn 18! By the way, I’ve lived over a year of my life in Latin America, have friends from several countries, and majored in Spanish. I have no problem with LEGAL citizens or those who come in to work with correct documentation, pay sales taxes, state taxes, and income taxes. I have a huge problem with lazy people–citizens or not–who do nothing (but could work) and expect to live off of workers’ tax money. Kelly is right–if you look at the combined total of taxes, counting federal withholding, social security, medicare, and then any state and real estate taxes, the group paying the highest amount as a percentage are those making between $90,000 and $140,000, not accounting for the phase-outs of some of the federal and state tax credits (like education, child tax credit, medical credit–which is kind of a joke since Obama raised it so high last year). Best suggestion that I’ve ever heard–start your own business, preferably an LLC. You’ll be entitled to many, many deductions that wealthy people take and it can reduce your overall tax rate from the federal withholding tables by quite a bit. Plus, if you hire family members, it can reduce the entire family’s taxes, and you can take your medical insurance premiums that you pay on insurance, even if it’s on a policy through work, against any income the business has. I had to speak with five people at the IRS before I finally got answers–call the IRS small business help lines first instead of the regular numbers, and speak to an accountant who knows what they’re talking about when it comes to taxes. There are also some books out there about legally reducing taxes that are very helpful. This is the ONLY way I know that honest, hard-working Americans can ever get ahead of a tax system that is woefully and unfairly stacked very much against us. We certainly can’t make any headway with voting in better politicians, the government refuses to reduce spending, and ridiculous government handouts of free cell phones and free community college to people who can barely read will, no doubt, continue to rage out of control. We need to find legitimate ways to pay less to the government. Hope this long passage helps some of you all come this April! 🙂

        • 84

          Sorry, Kelly, you are WRONG.

          The wealthy you deride pay 90%+ of the taxation, at the Federal level, here in America, and receive FAR fewer services as a result of those massive payments.

          We want a flat tax. We will pay less, and those on the lower end will finally begin to pay their fair share.

          • 85

            The goat’s biggest expense is the military and Courts and Police. All of which are there to protect the wealth of the wealthy. For the common man it doesn’t really matter if we are ruled by the American elite, the Chinese Elite or the Saudi elite so a military is of no use to the common man. So given the Rich are getting the benefits of 80% of govt and paying 60% of the taxes I would say they are still getting a deal.

            Social security and medicare is paid by their own separate taxes (which the rich don’t pay. SS is capped at 115000).

            Welfare is minuscule compared to military, police or court funding.

        • 86
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        There is a psychological component in this. I have lived with unpleasant psychological problems all of my life, and I live in a messy co-op apartment which I never can keep clean because I need the mess. Hardly anyone would guess I have a stock portfolio worth over $600,000, a cash position of over $100,000, and a co-op apartment worth between $800,000 and $1,000,000 as well as getting a pnesion and other income of over $50,000/yr.

        I never bought anything I didn’t need to live, and it became inevitable for me to become wealthy. I still feel miserable.

        W.

    • 90
      • 91

        Darryl, so what if her grammar is incorrect , her point is you can’t take it with you so enjoy it while you can.

      • 92

        @Darryl: With all due respect, if you wish to criticize someone’s grammar, make sure yours is impeccably perfect.

        Back to this article’s topic: People can save more (or waste less) by living within one’s means and by learning the art of delayed gratification.

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      • 95

        That’s a bit over the top. It’s not difficult at all to understand what the person wrote. What IS easy, REALLY easy in fact, is harshing on someone’s second-language English as a means of trying to feel superior. Seriously, what the person was saying was easy to understand. Not as easy as if it were a native speaker, but easy nonetheless. If you truly didn’t understand it, the problem lies with you, not with that poster.

      • 96

        why is it that there are people who focus much on grammar and punctuation marks when kellys english or opinion is easy to understand, i mean english is my second language, i got a third dialect. cant we not just get the idea of the topic?

        • 97

          Maria, your post makes it painfully clear why you are sensitive to criticisms of the glaring mistakes of grammar, punctuation, and usage so often made by second-language English speakers. For similar reasons, I never post on the internet in Spanish. If you can’t express “the idea of the topic,” we can’t “just get the idea of the topic.” And in any case, the ‘kelly’ you seem to be referring to obviously speaks and types excellent American English.

          • 98

            tbone0106
            you are pathetic. your response clearly shows that you do in fact understand the points made by both writers, so your are a) a hypocrite and b) you have nothing to say about the content. you just want to feel superior because you know the basic rules of punctuation and maybe some middle school grammar? wow, i am very impressed. did you go to harvard, yale, or oxford? or was it MIT? Stanford? i would love to get a list of your award winning novels so i can rush to amazon and buy them.

            morons like you don’t realize that it is the concept that counts (yes, the IDEA of the topic, which actually does make sense in english, although it may be a bit clumsy, you would have to be a moron to not understand, oh wait, i forgot who i am dealing with).

            between a second rate english scholar who is good at punctuation and grammar and someone who actually has an interesting idea, i pick the person with the interesting idea.

      • 99

        the grammar is not the important thing the message is. it only shows how small your mind must be to focus on the unimportant crap. people should see past the small things and try to understand others

    • 100
    • 101

      For someone who has been here for 12 years, you don’t have a very good command of English. And if you don’t like it here then go home.

    • 102

      Seriously, “dunya”? You’re comment made absolutely no CENTS (sic). Most everyone can sock away a few dollars every paycheck, short of not being homeless; you’ll be surprised how it adds up. Many Americans are not willing to save–that’s the ‘instant gratification’ syndrome. How many times have you seen those coming from other countries (some 3rd world ones) who within a few yrs. start off with a hot dog cart and end up owning a small restaurant and carving out a living for themselves and their family. We refuse to give into that consumerism addiction or make any true sacrifice to live the American dream, yeah it’s not easy, but it can be done. One important avenue is education, education and education! Bev of Boston

    • 103
    • 104

      When I got to “high interest mortgage payment” on the list I knew the whole reason for this article, to lure unsuspecting consumers into mortgage refinancing. Don’t do it! First, to get that low low interest rate of 4% which you won’t find anyway, you have to pay off in 15 years and pay a much larger monthly payment. Then, whether it’s a 15 or 30 year, you will pay several thousand in closing cost fees which will be added to your principal, just when you worked so hard to get that principal to go down over 10 years or however many years you’ve been a slave to your mortgage. Then, if you can only afford the 30 year monthly payments you are forced to stretch out the mortgage out again with the majority of your monthly payment going to interest, all over again! Do the math by looking at your current amortization schedule compared to a refinancing amortization schedule, if they will even provide you within one beforehand; they may not since they don’t really want you to know. Don’t refinance your mortgage EVER! I did it several years ago when ads kept pushing it with slogans like “President Obama wants you to refinance your mortgage….” Sure he did, it benefitted the banking industry which really needed our help around 2008 and after.

    • 105

      Dunya is likely writing in his/her second language – a skill the majority of Americans cannot do.
      Dunya makes a great point! Bravo!

    • 106

      Instead of working to fix the system so more people can live AND save on what they make, attack the poor guy who is trying to enlighten you to the problem simply because he can’t type up to your standards. I guess “compassion” was left out of your dictionary.

    • 107

      Can’t save money in the U.S.? That’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s incredibly easy to save money, the problem is everyone under 60 in this country thinks they need every new thing out there and that they can put it on the card and count on future earnings to cover it. Guess what? It doesn’t always work that way!

      I saved 100 a month when I cut out the TV bill (netflix is 9.00 per month)
      I go home and sleep on each decision to buy some gadget (still have the stuff i want and nothing I don’t use)
      Paid cash for 2 yr old car (able to because I saved up)
      Eat fast food maybe once a month
      Make your own dang coffee and learn to cook!

      Again the problem with people in this country, as opposed to other places I’ve lived, is that everyone here wants instant gratification. It’s like the money has to leave your pocket as soon as it gets there. Stop wasting your hard earned cash on junk and you’ll be really shocked at how easy it is to get the important stuff.

    • 108
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    • 110

      No, the government is broke. The poor are broke. The middle class — the working class, the job DOers — are fast going broke because they haven’t had a real wage increase since before Reagan. ALL the wage and wealth gains from all those decades of productivity increases is going to the VERY FEW TOP PERCENT.

      98% of the prosperity is getting shovelled upward to the very, very top.

      Don’t blame the government, blame the political party that is fully-owned by those folks who are trying to keep this corporate-welfare and welfare-for-the-rich system in place, and make that 98% number be 100%.

      And as they take your retirement away from you, they tell you the “job creators” need more and more of your money, so that they will provide you with a “good paying” (LOL!) job. Well, the rich are doing BETTER THAN EVER, so hopefully they’ll have plenty of jobs for you so you can WORK UNTIL YOU DIE AT YOUR DESK.

      Meanwhile, they are NOT really “creating jobs”, they are taking your money offshore to Cayman Island accounts by the TRILLIONS to avoid taxes, tax revenue that would be used to provide YOU with schools, roads, medical care, veterans care, medical research, inspection of your food supply, watchdogs to keep your drinking water clean, national parks, safe commercial airtravel, social security when you are old, etc, etc, etc, etc.

      Good luck!

      • 111

        By the way, I’m one of the luck ones, I have two college degrees, no debt, and live in one of the blue (MAKER) states. And I don’t waste money on crap. So although I make more and pay more in taxes than almost anyone I know, I also manage to put away 25-30% of my salary for the future.

        So, no, I’m not a whining welfare queen, I’m the guy subsidizing BOTH the poor AND the rich, especially in the ungrateful and undeserving TAKER red states, and I RESENT the fact that the rich are trying to make MORE people poor for me to subsidize!

        • 112

          (Oh, and I also don’t waste money on ANY of the things listed above–and also gave up car ownership in 2003, another WASTEFUL ADDICTION that most people are burdened with.)

    • 113
    • 114

      Huh, our government makes money? We have more debt than any country, so the government is losing, not making money!

      • 115

        They “print” LOTS of money, that’s the same as “making” it right? LOL Actually, their printing is making the value of said money tank faster than a rapid flush toilet…

    • 116
    • 117

      These principles all make sense – but you’ll never get ahead if you don’t take “baby steps”. First, start by setting up a secondary account at another bank or even your same bank and start paying yourself – if you don’t have much to spare, start with just $5 or $10 a week – at the end of the year, you’ll have a nice little chunk of change, if you can afford more, then put more away. I am in a position where I can do $125 a week, so I can save up to $10,000 a year that way. It has not been an easy journey, but once you get all your debts paid off, you can save and make money in no time – you just have to “want to”.

  2. 118

    We should at least spend as much as we can afford, like to treat ourselves out. But it is our decision to spend whatever we want on something we like without going overboard. The other thing you didn’t mention is spending a fortune on magazines we don’t read, equipments we don’t need and stuffs we don’t use.

    • 119

      I am guilty of buying a lot of “stuff” and then horde it away thinking I might use it someday. I am getting over that compulsion, and I trying to actually use some of the things I have. And magazines really are a money waster. Don’t subscribe unless you actually read them. Buy one issue if the content is relevant. It is important, though, to treat ourselves occasionally. We work and should have little rewards now and then.

      • 120

        Kathryn I agree with all you just wrote. I about a couple of weeks ago said you are a hoarder. Buying stuff some never worn or used. Its never to late to make a change (I hope).

      • 121

        Kathryn,
        There are many sites to get free magazine subscriptions from. I don’t pay for any magazine subscriptions. Go to sites like recyclebank .com or freestufffinder.com
        These sites offer free stuff including magazines. Good Luck saving money.

        • 122
        • 123

          Would you please send me some websites that offer the free magazines and stuff like you receive. I will soon have my own apartment and will be living alone so I will be pretty bored and want something to do. I appreciate it. I am on facebook under Terri Fleming or Terri L Fleming.
          Thank you,
          and Happy New Year

        • 124

          I read current magazines at public library. Also i read latest books and check out dvds. I love my public library! I feel this is a great use of my tax $.

          • 125

            My library has kindle books also. Wealth Soup please take my last name out of my prior comment.

      • 126
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      Agreed. Living within our means should not equal total deprivation, even on a low income you can treat yourself to small things (voice of experience). For serious mis-managers of money there are helpful supports out there, such as Debters Anonymous (http://www.debtorsanonymous.org/, this is free), or the 9-week program for hitting the reset button on your relationship to money Financial Peace University (http://www.daveramsey.com/fpu/, the class is free and the materials are not – but you have a decent chance of getting the materials for free by contacting your group’s coordinator and asking. Also this is faith-based but if you aren’t religious it isn’t a big deal and no one is trying to convert you). I’m sure there are probably other groups offering similar practical day-to-day help that I don’t know about.

      • 128

        Save a percentage of your income FIRST (some in long term / retirement accounts, and some in an emergency fund / short term fund). THEN consider what to do with anything you have left after life’s expenses. NEVER spend your long term savings.
        If you don’t do these things, then DO NOT complain about “rich people”; etc. Most people make enough to save and let their money compound over time, the problem is that they don’t make ANY little sacrifice. They want to live like they make $20k/year more than they actually do.

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  4. 134

    Bottled Water! What a waste, what a scam. Buy a bottle, carry it with you, refill it! Some people buy a new bottle of water every single day. We’re talking hundreds of dollars per year. There’s also the damage to the environment, plus the millions of gallons that the inefficient bottled water folks waste as they bottle the water!

    • 135
    • 136

      some bottle water is use full i drive over th road id have to carry a 40 gallion jug or stop every which wasres fuel an time an i also haul tons of bottleed water to stores which keeps me employed so as they say two sides to every coin

      • 137

        Tim, do like I do and carry a gallon jug of water. I take a Tervis tumbler(insulated glass with a lid) and refill from the gallon jug. You can freeze the jug the night before. You can also fill up the jug and get free ice for your glass at most filling stations or restaurants if you ask nicely! Saves tons of money. Think if each bottle is $1 and you drink 5 bottles daily, 5 days a week. 25×52=$1300 !!! That’s a lot of money to save. Both hubby and I do this and we put the money in a jar and put it toward our yearly vacations.

        • 138

          Actually, I buy bottled water by the case. It’s 24 bottles of water for $2.98. So, taking your scenario…I personally drink only 3 bottles a day at most, which means 21 bottles a week. .125 cents X 21 bottles = $2.625 X 52 weeks =$136.50 a year. Now, I don’t always drink 3 bottles of water every day. I also drink fruit juices, milk, soda and protein shakes. I also reuse these bottles during the summer, because I tend to go through a lot of water during the warmest months of the year. I still buy only 1 case a week, if that, because in the summer, I go to a very close state forest and get several gallons of all natural spring water, which is tested every year for safety for human consumption. There is no charge for the water and I LOVE the taste of natural spring water.

    • 139
    • 140

      dumbest thing ever I agree. My wife buys it for kid’s lunches…I think the school won’t allow drinks which are not sealed! My wife’s parents are democrats is the other problem….spend liberally on dumb things such as that, yet complain that they have no wealth. They also go through multiple cars during the period I keep mine.

  5. 141

    Here’s a idea, change your spending habits and invest it in preventative health care with Nutraceuticals NOT Pharmaceuticals! Cut out the ten bad foods and go gluten free and you will save on doc bills as well.

    • 142

      actually spending money on gluten free foods is WAAAAY more expensive than just eating normal and healthy foods. Real science agrees that unless you have a specific disease related to gluten consumption, avoiding it won’t make even a spit of difference in your life

      • 143

        Beg to differ with you Shannon. I have been tested for celiac and found negative, however I have gone off of gluten and felt tremendously better. I have done this possibly twenty times in the past three years just to make sure. So yes, avoiding gluten does make a difference with some.

        • 144

          Beg to differ Wilma. It has been proven that unless you have a sensitivity to gluten (which you sound like you do) avoiding it does absolutely nothing for you.

          • 145
          • 146

            How can you argue something about a strangers body? For 99.9% of people out there, morphine effectively cuts moderate to severe post surgical pain. If not morphine, then definitely fentynal, or demerol or dilaudin. However, non IV introduced percacet reduces pain for me post surgery much faster and reduces it MORE than these mind altering, IV introduced, opiate injections….for me. It’s not known why, but it HAS been proven. You can’t, with even a modicum of certainty, dispute this woman’s word about how her body reacts or does not react to gluten in her diet and or the absence of gluten in her diet. Many people can tolerate certain whole fat dairy products and protein supplements following gastric bypass procedures. I could not. My body reacted so strongly against protein supplements that my surgeon threw out the official and always used dietary confinements and told me to eat what I could, however I could. I am NOT lactose intolerant….but any dairy fat makes me ill. I can eat hard cheese and that is it for whole dairy products. I have to have skim milk, non-fat yogurt, ice cream and pudding. Even whole milk used in mashed potato’s has the ability to make me vomit violently. It doesn’t mean a damned thing if no one else ever reacts that way to the same procedure/s as I do….the fact remains that even though tom, dick, harry, larry, mary, christine, abbey, adam, zed and zelda who have gone through the exact same procedures as I, tolerate these products, I can not and it is because of those procedures. Wilma feels better without gluten in her diet. You do not know her…. you don’t know her body, her bodys chemical makeup or how her body does or does not react to gluten…so please, stop calling her a liar…even a REAL doctor would tell you that every patient is different and they could not comment with all certainty without examining said patient. So back off.
            Wilma, do what feels right to YOU and let the naysayers bray somewhere else. They are merely filled with their own preconceived self delusions of intelligence and knowing you better than you know you. Their heads and chests are swollen with an ego that has no bearing or foundation in reality.

          • 147

            Actually, I know people who were not officially declared “gluten sensitive” and when they went off gluten (example: wife did it so husband had to eat what she ate etc) they felt amazingly better. One friend had suffered digestion problems since his mid-teens (he’s now about 55) and just figured that was the way it was. Went off gluten and in about two weeks no digestion problems. He’s so happy. As for taking care of yourself with pricey supplements and better foods … it’s a great investment. Take care of yourself so you don’t have to muddle through our crappy medical system (and still probably not get well).

        • 148

          Wilma…Go back to the Stone Age. Your opinion is dead wrong. If you don’t have celiac sprue, you do not need a gluten free diet PERIOD. To say otherwise is just showing your ignorance.

          • 149

            Dr. H….clearly you are a “traditional” practitioner of medicine and don’t have kids with Gluten sensitivity. None of my three have Celiac, but two have a gluten sensitivity. Give the youngest gluten and watch her BM go to goo. Give the middle one gluten, and watch his BM take sometimes 30-60 minutes. Your MD is no match for my EXP(erience).

          • 150

            Here come the new-age, conspiracy theory crazies…. what’s the latest food fad? They are in it!
            I make coffee at home, my house is paid off, I upped the deductible on my car insurance to save money, I have two bank accounts so that I can withdraw money no matter where I am, I only use expedited shipping in an emergency, otherwise, it’s standard USPS. I buy SOME brand names IF I can tell a difference and prefer it. I use credit cards to MY advantage, use the ones that give me MILES!! And, I pay them off every month! Anyone who teaches their kid different – is most likely in debt up to their eyeballs and posts whiny tributes about how hard it is to get ahead. Bottom line – live within YOUR means and don’t try to keep up with the ‘Jonse’s’!!!

          • 151

            Casey,

            Are you claiming that your doctor has actually diagnosed your children as having “gluten sensitivity” ?
            Or do you just presume that YOU know more than any doctor?

          • 152

            Gluten when broken down by the body resembles the T4 hormone that the thyroid produces. In some people who have auto immune diseases such as Graves, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Lupus, Firbomalgia, RA, and a few others, the T4 hormone causes their immune system to over reaction. The results in many are inflammation in organs, tissues, and joints. Many break out in hives, itching, vomit or become nausea, diarrhea, constipation, have migraines, hair loss, gut issues, and many other symptoms. The disadvantage is unlike allergic reactions we have no epi pen to alleviate our symptoms and our bodies must work through the contamination which can last weeks to months. Even worse is when a gluten sensitivity evolves into a sensitivity to dairy, corn, and other grains, the body becomes so sensitive that it mistakes these when broken down for gluten and further causes issues and symptoms and further restricts the person’s diet.

          • 153
          • 154

            I have both Fibromyalgia and MS. Within a few weeks of eliminating gluten from my diet, I felt much better. I have heard the same from many people with fibro and/or MS. There is something about the GMO wheat in today’s foods that affect those of us with autoimmune diseases, and probably a lot more people that are not aware of what it is doing to their bodies.

      • 155

        Going gluten free doesn’t mean buying processed foods, which are expensive. Gluten free has more to do with clean eating that anything. Less process foods, meats that are grass fed vs. feed/grain fed, more fresh fruits and veggies and breads or cereals made without wheat, oats, barley or rye. A better way to be even healthier is actually going sugar and SOY FREE. Soy has been shown to decrease your thyroid function by 7% for each teaspoon ingested. Most process foods have soy as a preservative. Personally, I have been gluten free for over a year (I have an auto immune disease – not celiacs- that reacts to gluten) and not only am I healthier, but have lost weight and yes my grocery bill has gone down due to more cooking and baking at home.

  6. 156

    We bought a Capresso machine for $54.99, a huge bag of beans for $13, a few bottles of syrup for about $15, and a coffee grinder for $10. I was spending $4.50 a day on coffee, five or six days a week. Now, three months later, we are still using the initial supplies we bought with the machine, and the only fancy coffee I drink is if someone else buys it.

    • 157

      I bought a coffee maker for $10 at the DG,a large can of coffee lasts 3 months for less than $10 ,so I can have coffee at home for $40 a YEAR.not to shabby.

      • 158

        Sheryl, a $10 can of coffee is SOO yucky, though! My parents used to live on Maxwell House. Ugh. It tastes like cardboard. I swear it’s stale right out of the canister. Anyhow, maybe it’s just me, but once you’ve had a real brand of coffee (more expensive), you can never go back to that crap. This is one scenario where the more expensive “brand name” product actually is better.

        • 159

          you know amazingly coffee is coffee comes from a few variant plants soaked and processed with artisfical flavors ect. but they all come from the same place south america

  7. 160
  8. 161

    Don”t be fooled by the”Must Have’ ADVERTISEMENTS cHANGE THAT TO READ “ALREADY HAVE” tHIS IS BECAUSE EVERY SEASON WE BUY ALMOST THE SAME PRODUCTS FOR THE SAME MONEY AND THEN DISCARD THE PRODUCT WHEN THE SEASON ENDS. T HAT MONEY CAN BE SAVED FOR AN INVESTMENT PURPOSE

  9. 162

    I don’t waste money on it every month, I waste it every mutha f.ckin day! Between 5 and 10 a day, and I’m going to keep on wasting it.

  10. 163
    • 164

      THERE IS NO DAMAGE TO THE ENVIRONMENT. Plastic bottles are shredded and used in asphalt pavement to repave roads. They are also used instead of small gravel base when pouring concrete sidewalks. They are also being used in making low strength concrete blocks. They are used as a porous base in the bottom of flower pot plants. The list is a long one.

      • 165

        In order for that recycling to occur people must recycle and Americans are not on board .We have to buy plastic from other countries
        And tell the Pacific Ocean we recycle and the millions of sea animals dying because of plastic

        • 166

          Hey there,

          Just wanted to take a moment to thank you for generalizing Americans. Presumably, specifically people in the United States.

          Thank you.

        • 167

          Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Sherwood Arkansas all have curbside recycling of the most common plastics categories, aluminum, steel cans, newspapers, cardboard, pasteboard, office paper, and some other items I don’t remember offhand. Not everyone takes advantage of it, but at least on my street, more than half do. Plastics that go into the landfill are never recovered, but other recyclables that are actually recycled can make a big difference. If your community does not have curbside recycling, write to your politicians to start it. Recycling needs to be done on a large scale in order to reap its benefits.

          • 168

            As to recycling, here in Harford County, MD, we get a free recycling bin when we purchase house and can get additional bins for $7 each. For trash pickup, we have to purchase sticker for regular garbage but stuff in recycle bin is picked up for free. ALL of us recycle. Usually, the recycle bin is fuller than the bin of “icky” normal trash.

            As to bottled water, has anyone heard of water filters? We keep a box of water bottles, both the kind that purchased water comes in and the free give-away kind used to advertise companies. As needed, we wash them with antibacterial soap and fill with water that’s been filtered. They’re the right size for vehicle holders and good on night stand because they don’t spill as fast as drinking glass when bumped over. For long car trips, we fill cleaned juice bottles with filtered water and stash wherever they’ll fit in vehicle.

            To cut water bill, we collect and filter rain water. Collection happens in five-foot kiddie pool sitting on patio. Filtering starts with coffee filter for big lumps and continues with commercial filter.

            Since this article is concerned with wasting money, one thing to watch is S&H charges on online orders. I found cute little multipurpose tool for four bucks. Seemed like a good deal — until I got to the S&H page. They wanted $13! So my cheap little tool actually cost $17. No good. Couldn’t get away from page fast enough. Many things look like a good deal online but are actually cheaper at local store if you include S&H cost.

        • 169

          Christiana,

          Too bad YOU do not bother to recycle! I happen to be an AVID recycler as are most of my neighbors! Please do not attempt to paint me with your WIDE brush of ignorance!
          Your lack of concern for the planet is YOUR problem, not ours!

          • 170

            Actually, Christina it is all our problem for tho’s who don’t care to recycle. Specially the Earth’s. I am a avid recycler myself. I do it for several reasons, mainly tho because it’s the right thing to do, most importantly for what wild life is left. Salmon now have Prozac in them, And the bears that eat the Salmon. Heart medicine found in both. Our poor sick planet is not going to get any better if ppl continue to sit on there lazy butts and not start doing things differently. Recycling, Eating better, Not cutting down the person who may not speak perfect English for them. Not knowing they speak and write at least two if not more, other languages. Not cutting down someone who doesn’t want to drink name brand coffee, or the one who does!. The pollution are cars alone make, because most are so prideful, and into themselves which I call MEISUM. they would never consider taking public transit. If every human being owned three cats there still would be homeless cats. Not getting animals neutered. Every person that is not willing to change and make it better for someone else and our planet things will continue to spiral out of control including finances. Iv read comments this evening hearing ppl tare each other apart. That’s not change for the better. That’s the same ol same ol. I pray my Grandchildren live to grow up w/ Polar Bears, and Tigers, Etc. Were not promised our next breath. Like the one hundred and sixty two souls aboard the plane that just crashed on the 28 of Dec, 2014. Im sure they didn’t wake up thinking Iv got a two hour flight this am Im sure it’s going to crash, Im so glad I became a better person since today is my last day here on earth. We need to start and live as it is our last day. And it could be are planet’s last days If we really don’t change. Start thinking of someone else besides our selves. And stop thinking it’s the other guys problem not mine. Like it or not were all in this together. Its either going to be everyone’s problem or everyone’s solution. I am part of the solution, and I thank God for that . Not tooting my own horn just got sick and tired of seeing suffering, dying, problems, diseases ETC. every where. Thanks for any one who read and didn’t cast stones. Robin.

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    im trying to back away from expensive coffee and fast food when out is my biggest pain done good on the coffee this year im going to work on getting rid of 2 of my credit cards ive just got to be tough on myself and believe I can do it

    • 173

      I can’t believe how people can pay that kind of money for “coffee” at Starcap. Instead of doing that, this is what I did last year: Went to second hand store bought a Melitta espresso machine $9.00, coffee grinder $3.50, one pound of roasted coffee beans (any kind you want) $6.00 at Food4Less, brew my freshly made cup of coffee every morning 10 cents! Taste……. priceless!

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          My question to you why do u need coffee all day. One in the morning and then another one later on is oka but drinking more then two can cause serious problems and to say the least stain your teeth and give you bad breath. If you drink more then two cups you might as well drink a five hour engery.

      • 176

        I buy Cascade Pride coffee, flavors vary all year, buy a couple of pounds of what I like, good on the shelf for about a year, or can freeze. A one pound bag of ground coffee runs me five to six dollars, and I have a 4 cup coffee maker – 1 coffee scoop to 1.5, and 3 cups of water, makes a large cup of coffee. Coffee at Starbucks or Dutch Brothers for a small cup is usually more than that, so with buying a 1 pound bag, I come out way ahead. I guess maybe I am cheap, but it takes less time and money for me to brew a cup of coffee while I am getting ready to go somewhere than standing in line somewhere waiting to buy a cup.

        • 177

          PS – I hit enter too soon – when traveling and staying in a motel/hotel, I take my own bag or two of coffee and can either drink it in the room or in my travel mug. Thus saving a lot of money that can be used on maybe a good meal.

          • 178

            You mean buying coffee and a travel mug is cheaper than the free coffee in most motel rooms? I’m having trouble with your math.

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    Interesting article, albeit lacking in credibility. You make frequent reference of a 6.5% interest rate that is clearly non-existent. Tell me where I can get a 6.5% rate on a checking, savings, MM, or CD that is FDIC insured and I’m game.

    • 181

      If you’re looking for guarantees, like FDIC Insured, CD’s, MM, or Checking accts, It’s NOT there.
      However, you can buy Tax Certificates from your county appraiser , these generally pay upward of 10%, (usually closer to 18%) , They are not FDIC Insured, but it gets paid first if the property gets sold,
      There are many reputable companies that pays approx. 5% in dividends, and appreciation in the double didgits (stock price) Check out Kraft

    • 182

      That 6.5% Rate is the standard inflation-adjusted return on investment on average over the last hundred years.It is for long term investments. It does not mean that you will always find a 6.5 percent return on investments on any given day. SOME YEARS MORE, SOME (UNDER OBAMA) LESS. Invest your money for the long term and chances are that over time, it will return approximately 6.5% allowing for inflation.

      It is still the best investment bet going.

      • 183

        I’m sick off all of Obama haters. Have you noticed the economy has steadily improved since he took office??? I’m not even saying it was because of him… I just can’t stand they unfounded bashing just because he is a democrat. It sickens me… pure rhetoric

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          not really think about this detroit no longer exists therefore we still do not have an economy guess what 5 yrs ago we were not getting people asking us for money every time we stop in every truck stop we stop at now it is daily between 5 and 50 times a day but yeah our economy is better so let me ask again what are you smoking and maybe you need to either quit and do a reality check or share

      • 186

        “Under Obama” is like saying the Depression happened “Under FDR.” Significantly, both times, it was a Democratic President who led the country out of a deep financial crisis created by the wild, irrational, and rampant speculation under Republican predecessors.

        • 187

          What a load. FDR is the only president in the past hundred years who led a slower recovery than this one, and the reasons go directly to his administration’s policies, especially the New Deal and his meddling with wages and prices. As recently as 1937 — eight years after the crash of 1929 — unemployment was above 15%. His nuclear time bomb (unknown at the time, but predictable) was the creation of “tax-exempt” health-care insurance through employers in 1942 — probably in the top 5 worst decisions in 20th-century political history. Alongside it is, of course, Social Security, a system nearly identical to those that fellows named Ponzi and Corzine (and others) have gone to federal prison for concocting. What dragged this country, kicking and screaming, out of the Great Depression was war production.

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    Avoid the 1.50-4.00 ATM fee altogether. When you are at the grocery store, do debit and get cash back. Usually no charge.

    • 189

      I just did this the other day, Stopped by harris teeter and got cash back. Bought some two liter sodas because they were on sale then used my debit card to withdraw $200 from my checking account. Might as well buy something so you can get cash back for free. Better plan than paying $3 for the privilege.

    • 190

      If you get a credit card from Charles Schwab you can go to any ATM machine in the world and Schwab will reimburse you for any fees the bank charges. I have not paid an ATM fee in over ten years now.

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    How about rolling out pension money and buying annuities …..

    Paying financial advisors that charge you 1 percent of your investments AND put you in funds that give rebates to the advisors…

    Buying any soda for any purpose. Spending money on a product that is bad for you.

    Cigarettes- talk about paying higher taxes.

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      People would not complain about paying taxes if they felt the government was spending their money wisely and if large percentage of people who are working “under the table” were paying their fair share.

    • 199

      Why is that? Do you NOT like having highways, bridges, airports, hospitals, police, fire protection, armed services, Universities, Schools, clean water, affordable food, affordable gasoline, and the freedom to publically espouse your ignorance?

      There are many nice countries that do not charge income tax for they have no real central government, like Somalia, Ethiopia, etc. You should leave this “horrible” USA and go to Somalia where everything is “perfect” !
      You will simply LOVE it there! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out! Bye Bye! …

  17. 200

    If you live in or near a well-to-do town or a city with an ivy league college, regularly (daily is best) visit thrift stores, even if possible during your work lunch breaks. It’s best to try clothes on first before you buy them. Another help I have found is preparing my own very simple to make foods that I can eat often, like a tarragon kidney bean salad, canned salmon (from Amazon.com) mixed with parsley and grapes, and a fresh greens sandwich with artichoke spread. Also, buying from Amazon.com if the price of what you need is lower than in shops; if it’s something you use all the time, you can order a certain amount and won’t have to pay for postage handling. And before you buy a book (if you still like the old fashioned books), check Amazon.com (or AbeBooks) for possibly lower prices, especially if the book is used.

  18. 201

    I have owned the same car since 2000 that is a 1992 VW. Has not lost a Lick of value, and no payments. Paid for. parts are avail anywhere, and no power windows and other garbage to fail.

    Also, the last 7 yrs, instead of 10 thousand miles a yr use, I ride a bike 90% of the time.. work, grocery, etc.

    Now I put 1000 miles or less a yr on it.
    So, no gas expenses beynd maybe 4 $30 fills for the yr, and an oil change for $22 every 3 yrs… plus, I can received “storage insurance”… basically, I pay $37 every 6 months, just call every month or so to use it for a day or 2. If that was not an option, I would just sell it, and share my wife’s car and be perfectly fine.

    Our home is affordable. We have a 15 yr loan, 2.75% interest rate. So when our kid is ready to graduate, we will be with a paid for home. It is plenty good enough. 3 BR, we can walk to basic services in the neighborhood business district, take the bus, kid can walk or bike to his schools when of age, etc. Nice park down the street for more free fun.

    We might buy 1 fancy coffee drink per month. That is a splurge. We eat at home 90% of the time. We are Pescatarian so meals are healthy and affordable.

    Social time is mostly pot lucks, not expensive meals out with the uncomfortable Check split.

    Also our front lawn has been turned into a garden. So fresh food is 10 foot steps away. Lawns are water hungry and wasteful. The back yard has 2 chickens that provide delicious eggs all spring and summer long.

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      Kenny, you do know that if you have a lawn, you don’t need to water it, right? I know a lot of people do, but there really isn’t anything inherently wasteful about letting grass grow. I have never in my life watered grass. Occasional brown spots, but whatever.

      • 205

        That entirely depends upon how anal retentive your local laws and ordinances are. My parents are lucky enough to live in an area where nobody cares what you do with your lawn. They’ve never watered it. There are a few sparse and bald patches, but nobody cares. I, on the other hand, live in a city where if you don’t have your leaves sufficiently raked, or if your lawn gets too long (Heaven forbid all patchy), you can get fined. That can also differ within a city, depending on your sub division, and if it has rules. In the main city where I live many people are converting their lawns to gardens, but in the fancy college town next door, many people are not legally allowed to do so. It’s kind of bullshit.

        • 206

          So why do you live there. Is it because it is bigger and a little nicer then others or is it what you could afford, even then why have a house that is big but you cant make it your own because other people tell you how to take care of it. Or would want to live a smaller home where you can do anything you want with it. So you can’t say that it is bullshit cause people choose where they live and if they want to live in a place where you are told how your house should look that is up to you. I am perfectly happy in my three bedroom two bath ranch house for 600 a month that i choose how it looks.

    • 207

      I was living as you are now, life was great…………until I got sick. I needed a kidney transplant. I subsequently lost my house, my marriage, my job and my kids. Unless you are able to save at least 6 months wages for a catastrophe, you can’t rely on the fact that you will remain healthy forever.

      • 208

        I have been faced with the dreaded “serious health issues” with STOPPED my career way too early. At 47, I cannot go back to work. I have spent the last 3 years trying to get Social Security Disability. I have a private policy which is paying NOW, but #1: it wouldn’t start paying until I was out of work for 6 months. #2: They don’t tell you this – even after the six months – they are still investigating, and it took at least 16 months to get ANY money. #3: they like to stop your payments, saying they are “re-evaluating your claim” and they strongly suggest you just go back to work. (This ploy is to make you decide between starving and being homeless to making your disability insurer honor their commitment.) #4: I have (had) benefits from my job that were payable when you become disabled – and they were to continue to pay out until you turn 65. When my private disability carrier was jerking me around and had stopped payment, my company sent me a notice 3 days before Christmas last year (I had been out of work starting in 2011, went back for 4 months in 2012, had to have the surgery completely redone b/c the stress on my total lumbar fusion caused by sitting in a chair for more than an hour at a time caused the entire surgery to FAIL – – I had 8 screws floating around in my back dangerously close to my spinal cord) – – so 3 days before Christmas (and less than 2 weeks after I found out that I hadn’t received my NOV 2013 disability check) – – GEICO said I had to return to work immediately OR resign OR “apply for another “unpaid leave of absence” – – -BUT THE SMALL PRINT ON THE PAPERWORK for the Unpaid Leave of Absence said if they Company decide to NOT approve the leave – then by signing the form asking for the leave you were THEREBY agreeing to VOLUNTARILY RESIGN from the company GEICO – – WHICH, drumroll . . . . . . stops all those wonderful benefits you were told when you started there that you would get if you ever became disabled while working there.

        I had went to work for GEICO in part because of the benefits package. I was agreeing to a smaller salary than many received (I worked in IT) in exchange for the benefits package.

        THEN when I have to claim on the benefits, I feel they pulled a bait and switch, or (gosh I could give it many names) – – but words to categorize what they did that come to mind are “ILLEGAL”, “UNETHICAL”, “UNFAIR”, “DISCRIMINATORY”. (Maybe YOU could come up with some more for me.)

        I think just by making it seem a little “complicated” they feel vindicated – – I recently received a response from the VP of HR (after I emailed Tony Nicely – who is the CEO – – his email address is tonynicely@geico.com) that said “you are not receiving the benefits you are referring to because you are no longer an employee of GEICO”.

        Humm . . . these benefits pay out ONCE YOU BECOME DISABLED. (They include: I can keep my employee-rated insurance (which was $250 a month – – which I paid for up until January of 2013 when they took that benefit away – but since I am disabled, have been disabled, have documentation that I am permanently disabled – – – – – – it makes NO SENSE for them to suddenly take this benefit away from me. That doesn’t mean I can get them to give it back. Believe me I’ve tried. I’ve had to pay $550 a month for my health insurance. I have had to do without a LOT of things in order to pay for this – – and that is so unfair – – because it was a stated benefit. I know they don’t care that I have gone without food – – seriously – – waiting on my next check b/c I’m out of money b/c I paid for my health insurance whereas I should have an extra $300 a month. While I do have my “private” disability policy paying out (the one that GEICO paid for a part of and then I paid to enhance the benefits part of it (like everyone does – – and I did for YEARS AND YEARS) – – – – I need the entire benefits package in order to live the best possible life I can create on what salary I’m able to draw NOW (which believe me is nothing compared to what I was making – – I was making it work and it was a slap in the face for GEICO to “suddenly” decide that I needed to fill out a NEW “request for unpaid leave” so that they could SNEAK IN the clause about “if we deny your request you are voluntarily resigning”.

        Not that I didn’t question it before I signed it. If I didn’t sign it – then I was automatically considered to be “resigning”. I knew (I could see if coming) that they were about to pull some crap on me in order to save themselves pennies. I’ve tried and tried to explain to the CEO (since HR just pretends to respond and then saying things like “you don’t work here anymore – that’s why you don’t have those benefits” when we BOTH KNOW they “get it” – they want to pretend to NOT get it – – which makes me think I’ve gone crazy. I know I’m not crazy – but its insulting for them to “pretend” they don’t understand what I’m upset over and its ME that just doesn’t “get” it that I don’t get to keep my disability-related benefits while I’m disabled b/c gosh, I don’t work there anymore!!) – – – for him to PLEASE INTERCEDE on my behalf.

        I don’t know if HR is telling the CEO a line of crap to make it look like they are dong the right thing (see . . one of the “biggies” at GEICO is “INTEGRITY” and in my opinion, the people in HR that pulled this crap on me either have NO INTEGRITY or else, the company as a whole has TOLD them to do this to people after X amt of time on disability b/c they know I can’t find a lawyer that will get involved b/c its GEICO and they have hundreds of attorneys on staff. So, people out there who work in the HR field – which is it? Do you all get bonuses or something when you cut people off from their disability benefits? Or does your company have that back-room only policy that has the “committee” who reviews all the employees who are out on disability just KNOW to eventually pull something like have the employee fill out a request that we all know you will DENY so that you can then say “they have automatically resigned”??? I made it very clear to everyone involved I was NOT VOLUNTARILY RESIGNING. That I earned those benefits and I expect to receive them. (Another benefit they took away – – I am supposed to continue to earn years towards my retirement. Until I turn 65. – – at which time you THEN apply for your retirement. I was SO LUCKY I THOUGHT when I went to work for GEICO (after being laid off from another company where I had worked for 18 years) – – that GEICO still offered retirement. (That year, in Sept, they no longer let new employees get retirement – so b/c I started in JAN of that year – – I was IN!!) But here we are – – while I wont’ see it until I’m 65 – – they are taking money away from me then too.

        I’m sure some readers will say “Hey, I don’t get retirement, why should you?” My answer – that was the benefits package that I agreed to and was in effect when I started. I think this country is going to be in a world of hurt when our children grow up and have to defined benefit retirement plan. But that doesn’t mean GEICO should be able to take away my earned benefits NOW!

        I lost my life insurance too. IT was for $750,000. Its not fair I don’t get to keep that and give that to my children. God know there isn’t going to be anything else as I had to take out my 401K from both companies in order not to starve while I waited for my private policy to start paying. (I would not have made it had I had to wait for Social Security. I’m completely busted financially as it is. I have no 401K left. I had to eat. I don’t splurge. You don’t expect it – but one day you wake up and you can’t move – – something is really wrong. You need surgery. You have surgery. You go back to work b/c you are determined you are not DONE. You try, but you fail – it is now worse. You will never work. You can’t get ANYONE to pay you (private disability or social security) – – your only option – after your savings are gone – – are to start chipping away at your 401K at a huge loss.

        It could happy to ANY ONE OF YOU.

        If anyone has any suggestions, can do ANYTHING TO HELP – – can get GEICO to reconsider and give me back my earned benefits – – – I’d appreciate any help.

        Thank you.
        Kristin Lee
        kristinlee67@gmail.com

  19. 209

    Some good suggestions here. I stopped drinking coffee years ago. LOWER your dental bills just by taking 10,000 mg vitamin ‘C’ DAILY. If so, the body WILL NOT form plaque that causes cavities when not removed quickly. It’s A FACT.

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      Sorry, but drinking coffee does not make people go broke. Liquor, cigarettes, steak and lobster are far more expensive habits than cups of coffee. But nobody ever talks about those.

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    What should you do? Only eat and use the cheapest stuff so you can save money for when you are 80 and it doesn’t really matter anymore? Don’t get coffee, don’t get quality food, don’t do this, don’t do that. What should you do? Go live in a cave and eat what you can find in the woods.

    • 214

      Kinda like exercise, eat well and die anyway, if I had time to do all the things listed here I wouldnt have time to work.

    • 215

      I am 80,it matters more now,as it is impossible to earn money, and I am too nervous to steal.Go to Costco,raise any meat/vegetables you can,and do not listen to over educated fools.

    • 216

      Gina, these are just suggestions for saving money , not just for retirement but maybe for something else like a vacation or something, Sometimes people don’t realize how expensive takeout or fancy coffee can add up.
      No one wants to live in a cave unless its decorated really nice and heated.

  22. 217

    Please – help me FUND a revival of ” Hello Dolly ” again !

    I’m 94 years YOUNG !

    So many “deserve” to see my TALENT ! Catch it before it’s gone !

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    If we save our money, then people who depend on us buying things from them won’t have any. Our whole economy is based on sales. Can you imagine what would happen to all the people who work at stores, car dealers, insurances offices, etc. if they don’t get sales from us? Disaster.

  25. 220

    Here is a crazy thought. Let’s fix this economy so an average American can drink a quality cup of coffee. Guilt free! Bottoms up America and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • 221

      Henry,
      The government doesn’t want the economy to be fixed , they are benefiting from our economy being bad in one way or another. All the people who are high up in government have no money worries at all. Its just the people on the lower levels of the system who have no money or jobs and the government doesn’t care because we serve our purpose to keep them rich.

  26. 222

    Best thing to do is to invest in yourself. Thrive for being #1 in whatever you do (excluding illegal and hurtful things), money will follow and so will other things in this world.

  27. 224

    The hints are valuable if a person has a home and gun to help guarantee that they will not be robbed if they take out larger and less sums of money out of their bank and if they live in the same state as their banking institution.

    Coffee by the cup has always been ridiculous to buy. So, why do I see primarily men at the Dairy Queen in the morning enjoying their ManBonding?

    All American car insurance is overpriced, but so are the vehicles. No nation pays as much as the United States does for vehicles.

    Silly Wabbitt, kicks are for Trids.

    • 225

      That is ridiculous. Go buy a car anywhere in northern Europe and then tell me how expensive it is here in the US…not.

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    “If you bought cheaper coffee and invested $3.50 a day starting at age 25 with an average interest rate of 6.5% you would have $240,000 extra when you retire! ” Actually, you’d never make it to retirement with this attitude. You’d die of sadness by 40…

    • 228

      And when tou retired you would still be too scared to spend a dang thing on almost anything even with 240.000 dollars cause somebody would come up with a website with all these ideas telling you how to live better according to them.

  30. 229

    Live within my means. , a lot to be said for moderation , and those fricken credit cards and lines of credit. Need to have serious disaplin to keep from overdoing it. I overdid it !
    So not only do I need to watch my spending , I need to watch what is going on with my income. Self employed , and that changes a lot . Happy Thanks giving to all. I managed to have a pretty good one . PS. And because of those few idiots that put a few funky comments up there , I know I need to monitor what I read , keep and use the positive , and forget/ignore the rest. Just trying to improve my life. M. L. S.

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    I have placed 10% of my income into Transamerica when I was 21 and receive $1,600.00 net monthly since I was 48. Plus my retirement, SS and pension. I am most grateful. Now I am 76 and will live until 101. Thank you

  33. 232

    I enjoy my Starbucks daily, drink only half and half, eat butter and no junk food. Live in the Philippines, volunteer to help projects from the disaster Yolanda 2013. Walk daily about 7km=4miles, socialize with kind people enjoy the climate. I do not drink alcohol and do not smoke. Use only debit cards, enjoy my retirement since I was 48 with annuities, SS, pensions and when in the States drive a 26 year old Buick which was given to me by a very special thoughtful friend. God be praised for His endless grace . Wolff

  34. 234

    I’m surprised that going out to the bar, and buying mixed drinks or even overpriced beer isn’t on the list, and those Friday After-work Restaurant visits….and Cigarettes.

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    I had an aunt that was so “thrifty” she couldnt stand to spend a thing cause there might be a better way to do it. The system we have is the best in the history of the world I believe but a stupid cup of coffee that sells for 4.50 is out of line with market forces.Its just a stupid thing to pay more than you have to,the more you are willing to pay the higher the prices will go. Supply and demand. But I’m out to impress by finding coffee for 10.00 a cup and then retire and gripe about no money to live.

  37. 237

    If everyone worried about this than we’d never make it to retirement. Because we’d die of heart attacks due to stress. “I can’t spend money. I can’t have a good time. I need to save for my possible retirement, good forbid I don’t kick the bucket before the age of 65.” And the thing is when you get old enough to retire you won’t want to do anything, or you won’t be able too. And you might not be able to drink coffee because of medical problems. And lets say you croak all those saved dollars, in the event that you don’t have family or a will, will just go back to the government. So what I say people should do is live to the fullest today, within reason, because tomorrow may never come. So drink your lattés up!! Eat fancy food every so often!

  38. 238

    I agree with the person that said you earn it spend it with in reason . Life’s way to short to be a tight ass. If you don’t enjoy your money someone else will !!

    • 239

      Life may not be so short! In this day and age, you could realistically live to be 100. You likely could not work after 80, at the max. You will need money for 20 more years!

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    • 243

      Oh yeah, that’s a good one. Until I saw the charge on my bank account, I had forgotten about one. This was years ago, but it really made an impression on me to check those online statements regularly.

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    Good article even has some marketing in it!
    THIS IS WHAT I DID TO PAY OFF MY HOME.
    1st you need a job. (my job was HP Sales I worked 8 years there)
    What you want to do is pay your monthly mortgage and add additional ($800 per month or more if you can)
    I only drunk coffe when was free at work, ( NO NEED for $4.80 -sorry starbucks )
    I brought my lunch to work.
    I ate breakfast and dinner with familly at home (costco was our choice of food)
    I have bought 7 years ago Toyota Yaris, paid with my millage credit card (double points free ticket to Europe or Asia) and Iam getting avg 32mpg (huges $$ savings)
    Never buy a new car, wait 3 years and you will save 50% on any car)
    Often I rode my motorcycle to work 50mpg
    never spoil your kids with exp toys

    When I shop for clothes is either costco (50% off lots of brands) or I go to the mall when they have 75% off brand names..and I tell you this clothes last long time

    When I go on vacation I prepare everything months in advnce and it cost me 50% less if i would do it week from now.

    I dont buy new cell phone every year ( I still use my 6 old blackberry)
    Good luck

    • 246

      Better than the article. Own your home. Buy mostly used. Kids have more fun with a giant cardboard box. Prepare for expenses and use efficiency to save. Cook when you can.

      The markup on many goods is where people lower their ability to save and/or enjoy their money.

      You do not have to stop spending to save…just save when you spend.

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    Generic and name brand poured from the same batch. Don’t think companies going to rely on selling high end. Go broke. High and low end of market. Learned 1st hand.

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    Taste is personal. Some people may be perfectly happy with just any coffee but there are those who really loves that strong, aromatic Starbucks coffee. There’s nothing wrong with spending more for coffee or anything else if you can afford it. What’s the point of investing money and making more if you’re going to deprive yourself?

  47. 251

    Heres a thought, for those who smoke and drink, STOP IT. Paying $5+ on a pack of Marlboro’s a day is a waste of money, plus your hurting your life in the process. Same way with drinking.

  48. 252

    The Dumbest things you can buy are:
    Renting and Buying porn videos. Lap dances [a 5 minute rub isn’t worth $20]. Prostitutes [Also the medications/health risks that follow] Divorce Lawyers [you can do it without a lawyer] New Dealer cars [you can find many slightly used cars that owners regret buying and cut $5-10k off] Beer of any kind at a bar or restaurant as they charge you 800% markup, Certificate of Deposit at 1% return when they use that money and earn 15% from foolish credit card users, Whole Life Insurance Policies, Airport Food and Theatre Popcorn.
    Self control is a virtue

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    Good advice about investing money in 401Ks, mutual funds, annuities, whole life insurance, etc. If my husband and I did not put away money; a little at a time; we have been married for nearly 42 years, we could not retire. Now we are retired and living comfortably. Social Security is not enough to live on. Young graduates, start now. A small amount can grow over time. Have the money automatically deducted from your paycheck and you will be putting away a little nest egg collected when you retire.

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    My grandPa spends money like crazee on me on things i need or NOT need as long as i blink my angelic eyes, mooowah his bald pate and makes me happy, he is the happiest! Why be lonely? GrandPa sez: “I am the world for him”. I tell him: he is my cloud 9.

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    I agree. For me,I conduct my own personal war on paying interest,abhor it in fact. Early on I purchased a new car,after I paid it off (only 36 months back then) I faithfully made those payments to a separate account,still make payments to it now 38 years later. When it comes time for a trade,I pay cash.Although I did recently purchase one on credit at 0% int. Over the years I put things I wanted on lay a way.got them when they were paid for. If I don’t have the money for a “I want it” item,I don’t by it or save. When I bought my house,I financed 15 yrs and paid extra every month. Admittedly I got lucky here,I got a small inheritance and was able to pay it off. I use cards and pay them off each billing cycle. I think I am phobic but paying interest just irks me to no end. I don’t know how much I’ve saved over the years but I’ll wager it’s a tidy sum.

    • 256

      I have to agree wholeheartedly with you. When I do get in a situation where I have to pay interest and make minimal payments for awhile, I will notice what the interest was and add that amount to the payment. I figure that, at least, I don’t have to pay interest on interest.

    • 257

      I’m with you on that!! Paying interest makes me bonkers, can’t stand it. Wish I would have learned that lesson earlier in life but I wanted to have fun and wanted to buy stuff RIGHT NOW!! I grew up a little and started to make a bit more money and thought, why don’t I have more money to save since I’m making more money? I started to think more about budgeting and realized how much money I was paying each month in CC interest. It wasn’t a huge amount but it finally hit me like a ton of bricks how much having 2-3 credit cards with balances was truly costing me. Found a 0% interest balance transfer deal, put all the balances on it and paid it off within 6 months. It was a hard lesson because I basically cut out all extra spending and realized I didn’t like to not go without EVERYTHING I enjoyed because I couldn’t do without shopping every week and eating out all the time. It taught me to find balance with needs and wants and make sure I live within my means, save money for retirement and still enjoy life.

      I haven’t paid interest on anything but a home loan or car loan (car was a necessity after my old car cost more to fix than a nice, late model used car) in at least 15 years. When I bought my last car, I made sure I paid it off within a year because I didn’t want that hanging over my head. I also make certain I have between 6-9 months worth of salary replacement in the bank and I pay extra on my condo every month so that will be one less monthly bill soon. Financial advisors always tell you to keep the house loan and invest more since the house loan costs less interest and you can make so much more money in stocks. Maybe, maybe not. If my investments tank and my $100k turns into $50k then I’m skewered. But if I can pay the extra $70k on the loan and invest $30 and it tanks, then I’ve only lost $15k and still have loan paid off. Yes, as you can see I’m a somewhat risk averse investor. I will invest smaller sums in high risk investments and let those funds ride out a storm, but a guaranteed savings of 4% with a paid off house means more security to me than a 6.5% return which isn’t guaranteed and could flip to a loss at any moment.

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    The average 6.5% interest rate is bull regardless of what studies anyone ponies out. Besides picking on coffee while people buy bottled water by the case and still smoke is kind of ridiculous. Clearly the author has a pet peeve about coffee.

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    Expensive Coffee

    Invest in a quality coffee maker for your cubicle if your company doesn’t have one for employees. A keurig or other coffee maker that makes coffee by the cup instead of pot will save coffee and money in the long run. Buy a refillable cup to use your favorite ground coffee instead of k-cups and you’ll have a quality cup of coffee for just pennies.

    But don’t feel guilty about treating yourself to your favorite designer coffee at your favorite coffee shop as a pick me up after a day of shopping or when traveling. We all need and deserve a little pampering during stressful times and cheap coffee from a fast food joint, convenience store or gas station is not pampering. Not to mention those places make AWFUL coffee.

    High credit card interest rates

    Pay attention to the fine print on your credit card repayment contract. Almost every credit card company will raise the rate if you miss a payment. Gone are the days of fixed credit card rates. Stay away from store credit cards unless they have an interest free grace period for 18 months to help you pay for big ticket items or you pay off the balance every month. Store credit cards have some of the highest interest rates around — 23% or higher.

    Overpriced car insurance

    The old adage “you get what you pay for” applies to insurance. Cheap car insurance often is cut rate and low quality insurance when it comes time to file a claim. Everyone needs and should have car insurance but please compare coverage as well as price. And don’t be surprised if that cheap insurance company doesn’t jack up your rate or cancel you all together the very first time you file a claim.

    ATM Fees From Your Bank

    Grocery stores will allow you to take out as much as $50 cash when you make a purchase and they don’t charge a fee. More and more places accept debit cards and I find myself needing cash less and less places.

    Expedited shipping

    Amazon Prime membership will more than pay for itself if you are a frequent amazon customer. We’ve been Prime members for about 4 years and get free 2 day shipping on most of our purchases as we take advantage of prime shipping. I find myself looking on Amazon for something first to see if it is available for Prime 2 day shipping and 9 times out of 10 it usually is. For other online sites, look on sites like retailmenot for coupon code savings to bring down the price of your purchase. You can often find codes for free shipping or 10-20% off of purchase. That will go a long way to offset the cost of expedited shipping if you need the item fast.

    High-interest mortgage payments

    Anyone with less than stellar credit should not be buying big ticket items like cars or homes until they repair their credit. Keep renting and driving that used car until you’ve removed every blemish from your credit history. Pay off that debt and learn to live within your means and stick to a budget. Once you become a home owner, it is a bit like owning a boat (boats are referred to as money pits). That house will need maintenance, unexpected repairs will pop up and need to be addressed, like that leaking roof, busted water heater or pipe.

    Brand-name products

    Sometimes the ‘generic’ or knock off brands are crap and you will end up throwing money down the drain buying them and actually save money buying the brand name. This doesn’t apply to ridiculously priced designer textiles or shoes, however. But spending good money on a pair of well made shoes or jeans will mean that those items will last years, if not decades as opposed to cheaply China made shoes or jeans that you will end up tossing in a few months because they fall apart.

    As for generic or store brand in grocery store, there is not a single store brand food product that I have bought that was not inferior in every way to the brand name product.

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    All of these seem true! I’m sure there are at least a dozen more things, though. Designer clothes or generally just expensive ones, pricey restaurants, or buying ALL the latest technology (which come out all the time and usually each cost hundreds). Even if I ever was rich, I can’t see myself buying a $150 shirt nor anything that expensive that may only get a few uses. To me, it’s ludicrous and nonsensical.

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    Of course you can save. You just have to remember the secret word, “Patience”. I waited 20 years until I could pay cash for my house, no mortgage. I NEVER pay interest on a credit card or take out a loan for ANYTHING. I almost never buy brand names or respond to advertising. Always buy used cars, they are plenty reliable but the new buyer ate the huge depreciation in the first few years. Buy for value NOT price. I’ll pass on the 70% off junk but I’ll pay $500 for a pair of hand made boots. I bought a pair of hand made hikers back in 1967 and I still ware them. I’ll pass on the Chinese tools that will fall apart but I’ll pay $3,000 for a hand made rifle because it has real value. I grow some of my own food, make my own electricity and by basic food stuffs in bulk. I don’t eat at restaurants and don’t waste money on cable or other entertainment feeds. I have a Ku band satellite earth station where all that stuff is free. And I never borrowed money to go to school. I worked my way through undergrad school and graduate owing a grand total of $750 to the bursar. For grad school, got a full ride on grants because my job was shipped over seas. I even made a
    profit. The full ride included books, sold them for about $1,000 after the courses.

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    I live on less than $25,000 a year but I have always been able to save money. I raised 4 children by myself so don’t tell you can save money. You need to decide when shopping…do I really need this or is this a want. Get a raise of 5% save it instead of spending it. There are many ways to save…one does not need to keep up with the Baker’s nor is it a necessity to buy the most up to date phone. Think before you spend.

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    1) You aren’t a coffee lover obviously. Starbucks does a lot of good things for their employees so I will continue to drop in on occasion for the coffee.
    2) Insurance companies typically low ball you on a price just to get you to switch and then raise your rates. Get the best deal you can and then stick with the company for better rates in the long run.
    3) Loan consolidation has proven to be the ultimate demon for those who poorly manage their credit. hey will consolidate and then run their credit cards back up. Loan consolidation is the last step before bankruptcy.
    4) Higher mortgage interest rates are tied to your credit rating. Buying a home is not always the best financial path unless you have instant equity. Building your own home is the way to go. Learn how, its easy.
    5) Some brand names actually provide value compared to off branded low quality items. Some grocery items etc. I agree but some branded clothing, electronics etc. will provide longer life and actually some resale value.
    6) Stay away from vending machines, convenience stores and the like. Buy in bulk quantity, use coupons and research for deals will put money in your pocket. Online banking accounts will put you in better control to budget and pay debts timely. You will have fraud protection. Get away from using cash. This is the uneducated poor mans philosophy and those who give this advice generally have bad credit and no other choice.

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    #8 dumbest thing you waste your money on
    Paying income tax to the government is the biggest waste of money any American can possibly do. They waste, steal, give to their friends, bankroll terrorist organizations that are enemies of our country. Drugs for the transsexual Michael Lavaughn Robinson (aka) Michelle Obama’s transition from dude to bogus frmale

    • 271

      What an awful thing to say. She is the wife of our president and therefore deserves to receive respect. Were you raised by wolves?

  62. 272

    Money saving articles always start out with the Starbucks thing. I spend maybe $2 on a cup of coffee 3-4 times a week, and it brings a lot of cheap fun / pleasure / biz bonding in my opinion. Coffee chemically assists my productivity. I see people buying houses with $3,000 mortgage payments. That’s friggin $100 a day people LOLOL – $100 A DAY!!!!! Even with a “low” interest rate LOL And if you want to make money, the brand name product thing actually makes people like you and want to network with you in a biz-way. It doesn’t mean everything has to be name brand, but having like 3-4 outfits that are well designed is not a ‘waste’ of money. Are we all supposed to dress in potato sacks from Walmart?? Whatever. That’s just one-dimensional stupid when it comes to money. I’m convinced all these articles are written for banks and insurance companies so you get sucked into a large mortgage.

    • 273

      I agree, all these financial articles start out with the same old cliché advice about avoiding coffee. What about buying McMansions, SUVs, expensive vacations, over-priced colleges, extravagant weddings, expensive private schools, failure to invest money, etc. etc?? Why is the sole focus on coffee? Avoiding Starbucks won’t make anyone rich.

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    Not me. i don’t use any of those things.
    Frugality has benefits. I save that money and put it toward what I may really want later.

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    Regarding that one about “Expensive Coffee,” the author writes: “If you… invested $3.50 a day starting at age 25 with an average interest rate of 6.5%…”

    Where, exactly, will you get 6.5% interest on minimal investments of $3.50 a day or, for that matter, $105 a month without bearing risk that would ensure setbacks over a 40-year time? Perhaps the author knows of a serial certificate of deposit for small-change investors that would pay 6.5%; or maybe an index fund that wouldn’t eat up money with transactions fees for daily or monthly tiny buy orders on the security; or how about a no-load mutual fund that would take daily or monthly investments from a nobody who’s got $3.50 to kick in every day.

    Investment advice nuggets like this one sound good in theory, but they don’t actually work in practice. It’s somewhat like the investment idea that, if you save one penny on Day 1, two pennies on Day 2, four pennies on Day 3, etc., you’ll be rich in a couple of years. Yes, you would be, but it isn’t going to happen. Why?—because it can’t happen, notwithstanding what some site like WealthSoup.com might tell you to the contrary.

    It’s better to take your small, discretionary amounts of money and buy small things that make you happy (like a latte), help you feel more secure (like cans of Spam for your bunker), allow you to feel spiffy (like a new shirt every now and then); or get you feeling frisky (like a download of Pitbull’s romantic hits… or not).

    Life is short; invest well and wisely, but don’t set aside small pleasures just to make your retirement financially better. All you’ll end up doing is making your intervening years rather less enjoyable, which will make you nothing but a grumpy old penny-pincher in your old age.

    • 277

      It’s really not that complicated. The 30 year projected annual return for large cap stocks is 7% (http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickferri/2014/01/09/portfolio-solutions-30-year-market-forecast/). Saving $3.50 extra a day is $105 a month. If you invest $105 a month over 40 years and your AVERAGE annual return is 6.5% you will have ~$227,000 at the end of that period. The math is simple and the average annual return is in line with the data that just about every financial planner uses. You can use this savings calculator if it makes it easier to understand: http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/simple-savings-calculator.aspx

      • 278

        Wealthsoup –

        Your response seems a bit snippy. Instead of speaking down to the original poster, perhaps you should arm people with real knowledge instead of a phrase and a link to forbes & bankrate. Why not explain the difference between large, mid and small cap investments?

        Online discount brokerages that have a $0 to $2500 minimum opening balance generally do not offer any real help or information and does nothing for someone who knows little to nothing of the stock market. It also scares away those who have little money to gamble with. No matter what anyone says, the stock market IS a gamble. You know what they say about the house and gambling. People need to be aware of the many benefits, and but also the dangers. Think Kenny Rogers. Yes, the information is out there online, but sometimes those with the most to lose are the ones who need the most help understanding the game.

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    Life is but a vapor , a short time, if you have the $ spend it on what you enjoy , even if its simple as Starbuck ‘s coffee, bottom line you cant take the $ to the grave with you .

    • 280

      Ms. Monica, sadly, that is not the issue. The issue is financial responsibility. You wish to know this. The income bracket that goes bankrupt as per statistics is $80,000 to $100,000. And they bankrupt for the same reason you have posted.

  66. 281

    well,i flunked out on that.i don’t go to starbucks,dont have any credit card debt,dont use ATM’s,have very cheap car insurance,dont do expedited shipping,have a mortgage rate under 4%,and don’t buy brand names. I “waste” my money on things like food,meds,doctors,and grandkids.

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    I have just about read all your comments found many of them certainly enlightened my day I positively do not believe in wasting my money on starbuck’s coffee when I was young my dad worked two jobs to pay the mortgage on our home my Mom was a home maker there were 6 children in our family My Dad hade a rule if we did not have money to pay for an item we did not need it I never thought of myself or my family as being poor one of my brothers sold the Saturday evening post for a nickel I checked the neighbors & took the milk bottles back to the store so on Saturday I could go to the movie we had food to eat clothes to wear to school or church we played in the street with all other children when I was 15 my father bought me a 2nd hand bicycle I was in my glory xmas time we strong popcorn on thread the it was put on the tree what we did have was a loving family a fantastic xmas dinner & shared it with cousins after going to Mass now one person I noticed said they were poor poor is when you cant pay your rent electric bill have no food in the house I am sorry for those in that position however if that is not the case & you are in fairly good health in general that is what should be the most important thing in your life money is nice to have a lot or a little many folks foolishly over spend on things they really do need just want to impress the jones our home was a 2 bedroom I bath 6 children & our parents which was fine by the way I recently heard from old friends in Brooklyn my parents house just sold for one million eight my Dad worked hard to pay $5000. before ww 2 it was a red brick home 2 car garage on 19 street in an area called Park Slope there were only 7 red brick homes built & my parents were fortunate enough to be able to get a mortgage to buy one. however I would like to say people make their own happiness it is really mind over matter it is how we treat ourselves our friends strangers keep in tune with your faith whatever I might me a person does not need a 3000 square ft house every one does not need a bedroom & bath a present with a little talent can take a small home & with proper décor can make it seemed much larger county your Blessings money is no happiness it is really not necessary it would be nice to have it but you wont die without it do allow yourself to be depressed or stressed tell yourself there is no one better than your are we were all conceived by the Lord Almighty it is up to us to think positive about where you wan t your life to head as you age Many of you probably think I have wasted your time & mind I say good morning to the Lord every morning thanking him for another day I recently had my 90th birthday & I plan to enjoy every day of the rest of my life that the good Lord plans for me to have. Happy New Years to all God Bless us all In God I Trust

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    I just want to say: thank you all for the lively comments and conversation. Some of these made me die laughing! Happy New Year to you all!

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    I agree with what you are saying, but you should not dictate how people spend their money…. Its theirs isn’t it?

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    You always show a photo of a Starbucks coffee cup. But what about the money wasted by people who go for drinks after work? Beer, wine, and cocktails are very expensive.

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    It’s a free country, spend what you want. I don’t care enough about impressing anyone to buy anything much to have debt. I paid cash for my house and have no loans, drive a 9 year old 4wd for rugged Maine roads, 1 small credit card for credit score purposes. It’s funny – my financial health is very good because of my apathetic nature, yet people seem mighty impressed that I outright own my house.

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    Most of the suggestions are good ones, but when buying generic brands (especially food), buyers need to pay attention to the degree to which they are “similar” to name brands. Generic brands are often full of fillers and higher fat, sugar, and sodium than the name brands. I am willing to sacrifice a few dollars a month for healthier choices in foods.

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    Follow Dave Ramsey. Become debt-free. You’ll still get screwed on taxes by the govt (local, county, state, & federal).

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    I would have added entertainment expenses like cable television tiers you do not watch or Hulu/Netflix services you do not use, gym memberships you do not access, and cell phone services that you only use to play interactive games or do social media, when you can use a computer and wifi to do those same functions. People can check books and movies out from libraries for free. People can walk through the park or walk to destinations within a mile of the house, and forgo the need to walk on a treadmill completly. People can reduce entertainment expenses by being more productive and thus less bored, ultimately requiring LESS entertainment! We do not have cable AT all. We steam movies from the net, and read to one another for entertainment. Put down the cell phone and interact with the people at your table, in your neighborhood, or in your own house! A flip phone that makes and receives calls is way less expensive than a “smart” phone. My son asked, “How do you expect me to find the store without my cell phone’s GPS ap?” I told him the folks on the Conestoga wagons crossed the Rockies following guides who used little other than hand-drawn maps and some common sense. He could make it across town with an ordinary paper map.

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    I, for one, do not spend money on any of those. I have an old car so perhaps I should stop paying for collision and comprehensive insurance, but at least my rate is low. Why not add the outrageous amount people spend for their cell phones? Even poor kids seem to have cell phones….how can this be? I don’t even have a cell phone (no reception where I live, and i got tired of fighting with Verizon). And what about what people pay for satellite or cable tv packages? (I have been paying $20/month for the ‘Welcome package’ for over 5 years, have 100s of channels (most useless make-up, religious, other trashy channels) and can find something to watch if i am determined to waste my time on tv. Coffee? I absolutely agree…my neighbor drives 21 miles RT every morning because she HAS to have her Starbucks…adding the cost of her gas guzzler truck, her coffee costs her $9/day, which is over $3000 a year. That $3000 would certainly help with her mortgage or paying back her credit card debt. It is not the government nor our society that forces people to spend money stupidly….it is the stupidity of the people themselves. And no one should fish them out of the pit they jump into.

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    Lottery Tickets! Who is a set of numbers you must always play for fear of the one week you don’t play they will come out. If I were to get back all the money I have lost in playing the lottery or on scratch cards, I would get back enough money to think I hit it big.

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    OK, so I buy Starbucks coffee a couple of days a week because the coffee in my office is terrible. I have tried bringing in coffee from my home but it’s not easy to carry a travel mug, a heavy laptop on my shoulder & a purse onto a mass transit train. So it’s easier to just buy a cup of coffee & go into work. I could go to Dunkin’ Donuts but that’s about 3 blocks up the street & when it’s about 12 degrees outside Starbucks works. I will find another way to save money. (Oh, before everyone yells at me, I am also walking with a cane, so that factors into it too).

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    Wow, skip some of these wasteful things and you can order a brand new Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow! Invest in your health instead. You can still have coffee everyday, just make it at home!

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    Watch out for those generic suck in’s- More often than not I can find better deals on brand name items shopping sales! Generics often come in slightly smaller sizes, always look at the labels. The other day our local grocer had birds eye frozen veggies 10 for 8 dollars. Generic store brands were 1 dollar to 1.30 each. And toilet paper- forget about it, I’d rather spend on quality and use the bidet than opt out for single ply cheap scratchy paper. Some things ya just don’t skimp on.
    Personally I have never found the allure of a cup of Starbucks, I would rather spend a buck on the corner street vendor- and buy an extra cup for the homeless person who needs warmed up- and still have money left for a doughnut and change in my pocket! If I want a real espresso or latte, I will find a nice little Italian place and sit down. I think the worst money habit is not treating yourself once in awhile- it makes it easier to spend cash daily and not think about it when you don’t do nice things for your self every once in awhile.

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    Well, I seemed to have beaten the odds and the circumstances people complain about here. for I did save and did invest and managed to gather a nice tidy sum of dollars. The culture does not promoto “sacrifice” due to the shopping nature of our lifestyle. However, from cars to coffee, from clothes to items for home, how we drive and how we eat, all are does to excess. In one sad case, one female recently divorced and with tons LESS money, was entertaining her teen daughter to coffee at Starbucks to the tune of $100 a month. Money she could not afford but was unable to control herself. That is $1,2000 a year on COFFEE. We speed everywhere we drive and that means $400 to $900 extra on fuel. The dining out experience costs thousands per year as well. Moderation. Like it is taught in business school, no one can manage what cannot be measured. I shall modify that to include thos who WILL NOT measure. How much for smartphones these days? Does a 10 year old kid need a $600 a year phone to text? The opportunities are there. I have to dissagree that we cannot save money. I did it and so do millions of others. My inspiration was a book, The Millonaire Next Door, that I read many years ago. And, now, I am that person with a 2001 car that works and looks like new. I suggest you do some numbers as to what you elect to spend money on. You shall be surprised.

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    Sometimes I can find generic products that are equal or better in quality than the name brand stuff, however… in many instances that I have compared products the cheaper products are either cheap because they are made in countries that still use slave labor and pay .02 per hour or have ingredients that can be toxic to people but may have such low doses that consumers don’t know it. Do your homework before you buy stuff. Is it better to save money if you are poisoning yourself to do so? Honestly I’d rather be broke and be around to see my kids and grand kids happy than to be rich and too sick to know what is going on.

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    I already do all these things, I guess that’s why I’m a millionaire but no one knows it.
    I have to admit though, I do go to Starbuck’s on occasion and buy my $3.55 mocha- that’s my big splurge.

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    Except for the credit card (it’s my first one and I need to build credit, but it has a low limit), I found very cheap alternatives to the rest of them:

    -If I forget to make my own coffee, gas station coffee and McDonald’s coffee are just as good as Starbucks.
    -Due to my previous military service, I have super cheap car insurance (USAA), my bank reimburses ATM fees (USAA and NFCU), and I got a FIXED mortgage through the VA.
    -Many internet retailers will have promo codes to save on shipping. However, most are available on sites like “retailmenotDOTcom”.
    -If I want name brand items, I’ll go to discount stores (Marshall’s, Burlignton Coat Factory, Ross, etc.). Discount stores have become so popular in the past years, that the main three high end department stores (Nordstrom, Saks’s 5th Avenue, and Neiman Marcus) had opened their own version of discount retailers (Nordstrom Rack, Sak’s Off 5th, and Last Call Neiman Marcus). Also, eBay has tons of cheap labels as well.

    I’ll be getting rid of the credit card later this year, for I have enough credit now.

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    This article, like so many others, doesn’t really help the authentic “average” person. We don’t have enough money to begin with to make these really obvious mistakes. I would love to see some articles that are past this rudimentary advice. Also, they should be for the real wage earner, who is probably supporting several people on $35,000 or so a year.

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    you can easily get wealthy and have great fun playing penny pincher . cutting extras..
    clipping coupons , buy generics , drive reliable high mg car..shop smart ..invest in tax shelterd utility fund..8% COMPOUNDED DOUBLES YOUR TAX SHELTERED $ every 9 years!
    get a 15 yr 3% mortgage..make your kids WORK ! ITS BEST EDUCATION THEY CAN GET. ETC ETC. buy the time you hit 65 I guaranty you will be a millionaire..

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    All of these things are relatable even if I’m not the one that does it. I have experienced expedited shipping, and wanting to own my own car but cannot because of overpriced car insurance. I know people that drink coffee on a regular basis, and pay high-interest mortgage payments. My mother struggles with buying expensive brand-name products, and ATM fees whenever we go to the mall, because she forgets to go to the bank. I’ve never truly realized until now, but people including myself tend to spend a little extra more either because of ignorance, impatience or convenience.
    I have thought about paying extra money for faster shipping simply because I was impatient of wanting something I’ve purchased online even though it would come in usually around a week. It’s best to wait until I’m older to purchase my own car, because owning a brand-new car on my first time driving seemed really cool. Personally, I’ve never liked coffee at all, but I know people that pay more for better coffee even though it’s truthfully a fluke. Brand-name products are only expensive for their name and nothing else. The brand “Northface” has some really expensive products even though their backpacks, sweaters, and other merchandise look exactly like other unpopular products. We can find better alternatives or better ways to help for these things but yet we are too stubborn to change or to do them.

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    Here’s a saving tip that has become very popular lately, cut the cord to your cable/satellite provider. You may save $100.00 or more per month, that’s $1200 a year. Since broadcasters have had to go digital you can probably get all of your favorite programs over the air with a cheap set of rabbit ears. With cheap subscriptions to Netflix ($10/mo), Hulu Plus ($7.99/mo), Amazon Prime ($99/yr) all available if you have Chromecast ($35.00), Roku ($89.00) or Apple. If you have a newer smart TV you may not even need any of those as streaming is built in the TV. Check it out in your area. There are also plenty of free channels if you don’t want to pay for a subscription.

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    I am just going to say, it is Saturday night….does not matter this weekend about taxes…cannot change it. PLEASE, for yourself, go have some fun! Play, dance, read a good book, watch a movie! Unless you get a joy out of this, if so…carry on. People continue to amaze me.

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    I got a rate quote from one of those pesky auto insurers who daily BEG to cut my rate. . The quote was nearly $100 per month HIGHER than my present rate from Allstate ! !
    .
    Am I missing something here ? ?

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    ATM fees, are you still paying them? Go to your local grocery store, buy a pack of gum or soda, use your debit card and ask for money back. My wife and I have not stopped at an ATM in years and we have not paid an ATM the same amount of time. Saving money is using common sense and that is what is lacking with most people today.

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    WOW ! people were simply voicing their opinion about what was written…yet they were criticized because of the way they spelled words and punctuation …if you commented on what they wrote, then you were able to comprehend what it was they were saying. IN OTHER WORDS YOU UNDERSTOOD! point made. Give the hate a break people …enough is ENOUGH ! The worse English speaking people are …well…I think we all know.

    • 317

      I can understand the mentally challenged woman who comes into the library mumbling and slurring her words but that does not mean she knows what she is talking about.

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    starbucks spending is common core to a beginning of a work day,

    and not just that, something lies with starbucks and creation throughout

    the day. i’d spend my 2.53 2.60 2.87 there vs throwing it away on some

    crap in the grocery store.

    ~peace

    thomas 🙂

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    what about the $600.00+ cell phones? Can get 1 hell of a nice computer for that and not have to worry about marketing scams.

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    Never ceases to amaze me how stupid people are about money. It is very simple, spend less than you make, keep as much as you legally can from the government, invest as much as you can into retirement (pre-tax) and keep your debt and interest rates to a minimum. Then enjoy your life with the rest of what is left! Some idiot says you can’t drink lattes? Are you serious? If you can afford it after you have done everything else then go for it! Just don’t spend money you don’t have on lattes! Good grief is this guy still in High School? Did he learn this at some prestigious business school? Good Grief Charlie Brown…I’m headed to the bar for happy hour, because I’ve done all the right things (as mentioned above) and I deserve a nice cold beer and some hot wings! Go Hawks!

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    I make my own coffee. not only do i save a lot of money, i also save time but not going to places like Starbucks or Dunkin Donut, and i’m avoid the donut/pastry temptations of those places.

    i’m not boasting. i wish that i would exercise and that i actually saved that money that i save.

    but my homemade coffee is pretty good.

    i have a Keurig machine, but i don’t use the k-cups, too. i got one of those wire mesh cuppy things that allows me to fill it myself. i like Heavenly Donut coffee.

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    toilet paper……think about what u do with it before you flush your money .

    its free at more places then you ever thought …
    malls, gas stations, fast food places….and yet you keep buying the stuff…why?

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    I wish I could put down my cigarettes. I’ve been smoking a pack a day since 1974. Think of what I’d have saved if I had never started.

    • 327

      Chris, I had quit a zillion times, but in my subconscious I thought of smoking as pleasant and as a reward, of sorts. In February of 1979 I gave myself a DEADLINE of 01 September the following year, to see myself as a non-smoker. Not as a quitter, but as a NON-SMOKER. Guess what! I smoked my last cigarette on 16 August 1980. Period. Point. My psychology worked. I have never smoked again, nor have I ever been tempted to. I am sharing this, just in case my history might be helpful for you. I know from experience that it can be done. Yes, tobacco is addicting, but the mind can help you change.

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    Read my lips (or typed words-whichever)……………………Flat tax, Flat tax, Flat tax….What one consumes, one pays taxes on. With such a system…away goes much or the IRS…and many businesses which earn their wealth off of the tax system in general.

    • 332

      Lefty, the older I get* the more I favour the FAIR TAX. ((I fear the flat tax because it might just end up being an ADDITIONAL TAX, atop those we already have.)) It does take a wee bit of study, but I think if more folks learned about the FAIR TAX, and supported it, then out economy would be lots and lots and lots better off PLUS we would get both the underground economy and also the criminal element paying the same tax as you and I pay via the FAIR TAX. *and I am already a grey-hair!!

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    BTW eSurance was a good site to compare insurance until Allstate bought them out so now it is a biased web site that will only show you those insurance companies that they can beat or match now… what a shame Allstate.

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    Would someone please tell me where you get 6+% rates ? We have been getting those recently in the market, but those are not bank rates. You “wealth” guys know better, but don’t publish better.

    • 335

      Robert, the 6% interest rate is the 30 year forecast for the S&P adjusted for inflation. This is not a short-term interest rate. But that is the forecasted rate if you are invested in the market over 30 years. Some years will obviously be more and some will be less.

  111. 336

    It’s taxes people. High taxes are killing any spending power people have in the first place. That & a depreciating dollar thanks to the Federal Reserve Bankers. You see, every dollar issued in America is created with interest borrowed from international bankers. That’s right. Do your homework and see that our income taxes go to pay just the interest to the Federal Reserve Bankers who control US money supply. Did you know, that prior to the 20th Century there was no income tax? That’s right. If the US took control of the money supply from private banks there would be no need for income tax. That’s about 35% more money in your pocket that doesn’t have to go to crook bankers!

  112. 337

    ALL BELOW ARE MY COMMENTS AND OPINIONS:
    I HAVE ANOTHER ADDITION FOR BIG WASTE.

    EBAY’S CUSTOMER SERVICE DEPARTMENT. IF YOU ARE A SELLER, WHICH I BELIEVE EBAY DOESN’T GIVE A FLYING ‘F’ ABOUT, AND TRY TO CONTACT THEM FOR A PROBLEM, ALL YOU SEEM TO GET ARE RUN-AROUND LINKS THAT TAKE YOU NOWHERE. THEY SEEM TO BE MAKING MONEY BY NOT HIRING ENOUGH PEOPLE TO EVEN ANSWER EMAILS OR RECEIVE PHONE CALLS.

    THEY SHOULD BE NUMBER ONE ON THE BIG WASTE LIST. I HATE EBAY. THEY DON’T SEEM TO GIVE A SH_T ABOUT THEIR MEMBERS…JUST THE MONEY THEY’RE MAKING.

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    The problem is us Americans can’t live within our means. Our parents and grandparents did it and our grandparents did it during the Great Depression(I am 32). Maybe it’s because I started out enlisted in the USMC as a linguist, I have a different perspective than most of my peers. I had to live off of $1,000 a month. I lived a very humble life and spent my money on books and I barely made it. Today I make a six figure salary which starts with a three as a real estate attorney. I still my used 09 Camry for when I was a Captain and a Linguist Officer. I was making more money than being enlisted but my car is fine. I can go to the Ferrari dealership TODAY if I wanted to and make an all cash offer but I choose not to. You can either live conservatively at first and retire like a king or live like a king now and live like a peasant when you retire. The choice is yours and this article is spot on I actually for once agree with every point.
    Avoid unnecessary costs such as
    designer clothes
    expensive hipster coffee
    flashy cars
    a house you can’t afford because that comes with a mortgate with a high interest rate.
    I only have one debit/credit card because I have good credit and that is all I need and same goes for you Mr. Trump.

    That’s all I have on the subject but good call writer.

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    This article got our attention because we read it so it met it’s objective. This being said, this article is stupid. People will spend money on things that are important to them. The interest rates are a non brainer so why even mention them.

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    Here are some more!

    Anyone who gets or uses a CREDIT CARD is wasting money. I cut up ALL mine; tired of being “Fee-d to death” and mot importantly being charged interest . Solution was great”: I have a DEBIT CARD.

    Even then I pay cash for most purchases (90%)! No more monthly credit card bills with rip off interest rates and/or tacked on fees by greedy gouging, selfish big banking corporations that caused our Greeat Depression 2 that most Americans still suffer from DAILY(8 years and counting!)

    2. Even with gas prices way down from the Oil Corporations’ EXTORTIONIST rates of the past decade or so, I found that buying a hybrid or selling the car outright pays all sorts of dividends. I walk and ride my bije instead AND , WOW!, Its great exercise and saves tons of money. Health has improved Dramatically, your stress level will go DOWN and you save a LOT of money. Also: Goooo, PUBLIC Transportation! , as well.

    3. Until the gouging over priced airlines start serving free food on ALL flights again, free beverage and PEANUTS again, No charge for ANY luggage unless beyond the first, no extra charge for aisle seats again, no charge for exit row seat again, no charge for cancellation of tickets again, no extra charge for changing ones flight plan again…no charge EVER for carry on, no charge tack ons for a pillow and clean blanket, and no charge EVER for in flight magazine, … I will whenever possible NOT take an airline on MORAL grounds. Healthy PROFITS yea, GOUGING, never! PIGS! SOLUTION?
    UNLESS necessary (overseas flight) I will drive, MAKE the airlines Fee quoted be the ACTUAL…FINAL…Fee one must pay with “no surprises”. Until ALL the above reinstated BOYCOTT ALL AIRLINES. Finally keep the boycott going until they DROP fees. They can no longer blame exhorbitant ticket prices on High Oil prices…They are scamming you with oil prices so LOW!

    4. Buy pants, blue jeans(sturdy) sox, and underpants from clean thrift stores. Because of greedy , dishonrest corporate apparel “planned obsolescence”, none of the above articles last even a fraction as long as they used tt yet the prices are through the roof. Lower quality yet higher prices???! Ah, NO!

    5. Eat at Restaurants that do not require tips. or pack your own lunches folksd It will save you a lot of money each month and year. NOT all non tip eateries are tip required and, no, some of these diners are not “fast food” unhealthy. Chipotle has filling, healthy food and is fast casual where ZERO tip is required. Plus what you dont eat completely, you can wrap and take home the leftovers to finish eating later; its like 2 meals.

    6. Buy any train, bus, airline ticket at least 2weeks in advance and scan the various on line apps for the cheapest round trip airfares.

    7. Movie tickets are 10-12 bucks a pop, TOO Expensive. Instead waiot abit and see those same movies for just a couple dollars just a few months later via Red Box or Netflicks, etc. Even better watch TCM classic movies for “free” , they aree often outstanding, well written classics. Even cheaper yet? Go to your public library and order EVERY kind of film imaginable.

    8. Instead of shelling out 25 to 35 dollars for a new hardcover book, 1-2 dollars for a daily newspaper, or even more for your favorite magazine, CANCEL all Apps that charge on your computer and ALL subscriptions Walk, ride bicycle, drive to your local public library and get a library card! Read all the classics and/or the latest bestsellers that just recently came out that interest you!

    9. DONATE your time…MAKE time to spend at least once a week being of service to those less fortunate. You serve God by serving those who are struggling in one way or other. Be a receptionist, food preparer, food sorter or distributor at homeless shelters and churches. It will make you HAPPY believe it or not and truly..life is short. Oh yeah..and by the waqy No you’e NOT “too busy” to serve humankind. It should be the true ESSENCE of your short existence on this planet.

    10. NEVER retire if at all possible. That does not mean staying in the same mundane job your whole life being bored or working for a tyrannical boss. But it adds to your social security payments when the trime comes and it is a social contract way of mingling with those younger and older than you and keeps you physically active even if its just a dipsy minimum wqage part time job at Burger Butt! O)h…and you can also do VOLUNTEER WORK for free by being an usher-at any age- to get in and see FREE concerts by the city or university in your locale. Its a great way to meet and greet people, and, of course to see live concerts, lectures, theater plays, etc. ALL for FREE.

    11. Get rid of your land based telephone. Go Cell phone and dont laugh, ditch the excpensive cell contract and fancy Iphones for….a store bought OLD FASHIONED, nifty “old style ” Flip top cell phone, where you then buy a phone card for 200, 300, or up to 600 minutes of calls and/or texting a month. NO monthly phone bills!

    12. Do not be afraid to bargain at estate sales, garage salews or yard sales. Moreover, even when you go into a store. If you see, for example, a computer tablet or laptop or a camera you really like, Go inline to check out COMPETING stores even if located out of state and 5then show the cheaper price for that item to the store clerk. Ask him or her if they will match the lower price elsewhere. OFTEN they will say “No!” and thats OK because you are in no worse a position than you were before being rejected. HOWEVER, VERY OFTEN they will either MATCH the lower price or at least drop the stated tag price at their store by an amount that saves you 10 or twenty dollars.

    13. Do not be afraid to buy the Best QUALITY for the Lowest Prices instead of being like the “sheep masses” just to be liked by buying expensive popular brand names. RISE ABOVE such shallow , superficial, societal “pressure to be group accepted”. Instead buy brands that maybe no one has heared of yet but which aree better, longer lasting in quality and/ or are actually Far cheaper. THE SAVINGS ARE IMMENSE!

    14. IF you are a big family, than sure, yes, buying at Bulk storee warehouses will save you lots of money. HOWEVER, if you are a mere live alone single, be more selective when buying bulk food and products. Be sensible: Yes, to huge bulk Detergent, razor blades, toilet paper, and several other items. ..but Don’t be like “Lucy” who saw a great sale/ bargain on Irons and when Ricky asked her “why” she bought seven Irons, Lucy replied, ” Because there was such a great Sale!”. (LOL).

    15. If you live in State (especially but not even exclusively). its no longer a secret : The flag Ship elite Public Universities in our nation will be more challenging and give one a greater education “across the board” than even the best of the vastly overrated, over priced corrupt Ivy League Cartel Universities and other parochial and private Universities and colleges. Its a proven fact your career income,”net” will be greater than had you paid the exorbitant prices for rip off private colleges. Moreover, your total student loan and other loan debts will be FAR LESS . True, all colleges in America are FAR too expensive thanks to GREEDY over paid, lazier by the year professors and the the proliferation of over paid un-needed administrators. I Still, if you are highly intelligent , or get good grades and trest scores, , you can save a ton of money by gong to a prestigious public elite if you get accepted. Even less stellar students are FAR BETTER off going public rather than [private: At least at the college/university level in our society. Arguably the GREATEST RIP OFF in America today is the tuition & board prices bY ALL COLLEGES, but ESPECIALLY: The Privates.

    16.IF you can afford it(rare but this point is for those who saved up) NEVER buy a house unless and until you can pay CASH. Those typical n30 year mortgages are just banks /financial institutions being blood suckers because thwey will end up sucking more money from your purse or wallet in INTEREST (their userous “profit”) than the principal you , of course, must also pay back. 30 years of HUGE interest payment Debt? In our increasingly mobile society where workers must transfer from one city to another and one state to another or worse several careers to another, it does NOT make sense to “own” a house. Rent and when you finally have saved up enough to buy a house…or even a car..of your dreams PAY CASH full and feel good about NEVER having to make a house or car payment or to worry about foreclosure or forfeiture or repossession.

    17. Do NOT buy a “health Club Membership” unless you are truly going to go there religiously to exercise. Ride your bike daily, go for walks, join a palsy wellsy jogging club, play pick up basketball at the local park or tennis there. Go swimming at beach..ITS all :free!

    18. START A MONEY SAVING HOBBY:…collect coupons. never GO GROCERY SHOPPING WITHOUT YOUR BUNDLE OF COUPONS AT THE READY AS YOU PUSH YOUR GROCERY CART down the aisles.

    19. Cancel your cable TV subscription NOW! It is a soon to be dead or dying dinosaur. For years Comcast and other rip off artists gouged you and me and everybody with CRAPPY service and ever increasing too high cable bills. Its time for JUSTICE if not for REVENGE. Call them up and unless they agree to reduce it by 1/2 or more monthly, tell them to go jump in the lake and cancel your cable. In months not years, the new order will be “Ala Carte” where you pay not more than 10 bucks a month to watch the 2-3 or 5 channels you most watch- or only watch- anyway! Better yet cancel cable forever and just use your computer to stream everything for free on line or if live, to pay, far, far, less than THOSE EXTORTIONIST CABLE TV MONTHLY BILLS! i CANCELLED MINE AND SAVED HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS A YEAR. iT FEELS great!

    20. Rather than paying for it, Take FREE classes offered in your community center, public library, local college re: computer use and troubleshooting, cooking, mijnor auto care/repair, discussing the latest novel with a group of fellow citizens reading the same book each month at the local bookstore, running/jogging/walking clubs. Its free, improve body & mind, and is a great way to make new friends no matter one’s age, income, or walk of life.

    Take care: God bless you all.
    If you enjoyed the above tips and want to subscribe to a monthly newsletter( 12 great monthly tip sheets per year, ala like the above ) to save still more money and /or to improve your income, health, and life, then send 10 dollars ( Money Order only) made payable to Q.B. F. C. ; C/O: POB #7416; Ann Arbor, Michigan 48107-7416)
    + BE SURE to list your address OR your E-mail & declare which mode you prefer receiving said QBFC Monthly Newsletter for better health, wealth, success and happiness. TEK.

    • 342

      You describe the life my wife and I have lived for over 43 years. You are right on every point. We are living proof of it. The only thing I disagree with is never retire. My wife and I have far more than we will ever need. We retired in our fifties. We devote much of our time to our grandchildren, helped one child start and manage a business, and give much time to our church. We also pursue hobbies and travel.

    • 343

      Timothy, I not only cancelled my cable service ((they kept removing channels, and increasing my cost)), but I also gave away my TVs. What a TIME-SAVER that turned out to be!

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    Expensive coffee? There wasn’t any $4.50 a cup coffee when I was 25 but I bet the $225k in 40 years time won’t be worth nearly what $225k is today – of course there is no inflation according to the government.

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    Starbucks is ridiculous. $4 and up for joe? It’s not even good coffee. Always tasted like it sat around all day-burnt and too strong. Dunkin’s is a lot better, though it too has its problems. Why does it taste kind of sweet before I even add sugar?

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    Happiness IS important – no one should ever underestimate the value of happiness in their life. If that 4 dollar cup of coffee makes it easier to go to that job you hate every morning BUY IT!

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    The generic thing is misleading. Only some generic things are of similar quality. Garbage bags, for example. Generic garbage bags are way inferior to name brand. They stretch, tear and leak. Glad and Hefty are the only bags worth a toss.

    Toilet paper is the same way. If you use generic tp, you may as well wipe your bum with your bare hands.

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    my greatest testimony. I have always wanted not to live paycheck to paycheck or have any debt. I have worked for 21 years in a company yet i was unable to live a comfortable life. thanks to Dr Paul who change my life for good. I did a jackpot lottery spell by Dr Paul. and I won $500,000 usd. for a start and i keep winning. now I’m a Billionaire . If you need any help Contact Dr Paul the truthful powerful spell caster through. drpaulspellcaster@yahoo.com Number +2347014958863. Get Luck & Winning Big in any lottery jackpot. thank you very much Dr Paul for making the World a better place

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    Let’s see DD coffee vs Starbucks = DD tasts like shit. Save money live better is a bullshit. Appreciate small things in a life . Never nagg. WORK TO LIVE !! NEVER LIVE TO WORK.
    FROM a millionaire who lost every dime for medical reasons

  125. 352

    The article is right on. My wife and I were school teachers. for 30 years we made coffee and brought it to school in a thermos. We brown bagged our lunches, as did our 3 children. We never bought fast food. We rarely went to a movie. We only bought on sale. We only bought what we could afford to pay cash for. We worked extra jobs when available (coaches, refereeing, etc) We did go on ski vacations and had a travel trailer we crisscrossed the country with for 10 years. We saved a minimum of 10% of our gross and invested it. We retired at 56 years of age. We have pensions and over $750,000 in 4021k accounts and own 4 homes including our primary residence, which is the only one with a mortgage. We own a Harley, an Airplane (1999 C172S), an F250, a Fifth wheel travel trailer, and my wife drives a 2005 Camry with 115,000 miles on it. we also tithe our church, help our parents and kids on a monthly basis. It’s all about good decisions, planning and hard work.

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    I disagree on the “refinance your mortgage” piece. Unless you have a really high interest rate – as in 7.5 or higher, it is better to skip the re-fi fees and the bait and switch these so often involve (you are told you can refi at 4% but no matter how fabulous your income and credit rating, it migrates to 5.8…). You can really get ahead by paying extra each month on your mortgage, even a few hundred dollars can make a big difference. It should also be said that a LOT of homes across the country have NOT regained their pre crash values or anywhere near, and depending on when you purchased you might be hard pressed to get a loan at all. That comes as a shock to a lot of people, but it still happens all the time. It’s okay to check out the option, but be prepared for possible disappointment.

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    You should have thrown in the coffee habit those who drink 4-6 diet cokes a day and would fight you before considering giving them up; but maybe that’s just in my house.

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    It’s not those that have high/very high earned income that make the system unfair – they work for their money. It’s those that have large savings/investments that are favored – capital gains taxes are way less than earned income taxes. That’s a major reason you MUST save and invest so that your invested money gets the benefit of lower capital gains taxes. Of course saving money in IRA’s, ROTH IRA’s, 401(k)s, 403(b)s etc. are the saving/investment vehicles everyone must ALSO use to take advantage of deferred taxation. Of course when they are cashed out one must pay earned income taxes on them.

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    Also, we were able to refinance our house mortgage with a Home Equity Loan. That eliminated $1000 of Title Insurance (which benefits only the mortgage company if triggered) and most fees. We now pay our property taxes directly (we’re in PA).

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    First of all, government/corporations should raise our salaries, second republicans should stop giving tax breaks to the rich/1% of the americans. Politicians should for a change take care of the 99%—us… We should be smart enough to figure out how to save & stretch our money since we can’t rely on the government/politicians to do it for us…think, read, listen

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    I love how people like Suze Ormann tell us to save, save, save, but how are we supposed to do that? The minute we graduate from college, we have exorbitant student loans to pay back plus housing and transportation. We need to make sure we have a 6 month cushion in case we lose our jobs, save for our children’s education and save for retirement and keep the credit card debt low enough we can pay it off every month. In most average areas, a conventional single family home is at least $250k. If you figure your payments are roughly $2, 500 per month, your transportation, utilities and other daily expenses are $2,500 also, that’s $5,000 a month right there. Even if you save only $500 toward your kid’s college fund and $500 toward retirement each month and another $500 per month toward replacement costs (car, large appliances, etc.) you need to bring home AT LEAST $7,000 per month which translates into annual gross income of over $100,000 per year. Be honest, how many people do you know that make 6 figures a year? Even with 2 incomes?! Yes, these little hints are helpful, but in the grander scheme of things, is it really going to make that much difference?

    • 364

      Don’t get student loans. Yes, it means it will take longer to graduate, but you’ll be happy you did it. It may take six years of crappy roommates, rice and beans, and no partying, and holding a job, but sooooo worth it to graduate without debt. I did it.

      A $250k home with a 30 year mortgage at 6% (new buyer with little credit) is about $1490. Your PMI will be about $125 a month. Your taxes (in Houston, Texas) would be $500 a month. So, $2100 instead of $2500. Unless you live on the east or west coast there is plenty of cheaper housing. Also, if you are a first time homebuyer, you’re better off in a condo. As for property taxes, Texas is among the highest.

      Your utilities would be (I’ll use what we average) $300 a month (gas, water, electricity, bandwidth, landline phone). Less if you lived in a smaller home or condo… my house is 2500 square feet.

      Car? Don’t buy a new one. Pay cash for a used one. Start with a beater off a used car lot that you won’t shed tears over if it breaks. My wife and I commute a total of 75 miles a day (45 for me and 30 for her). We pay $80 a month in tolls and $150 a month on gas. Groceries (we shop at three stores, once per week) are $400. We eat out once a month, costing us about $50. Cell phone plan. Under a hundred. Round off to $800 a month. I drive a 2007 Maxima (I bought it CPO in 2009) with 150,000 miles on it. Runs like a top. My wife’s 2009 Rogue was also a CPO, bought in 2010. 60k miles.

      Contributions to retirement. Do not start at $500 a month. That’s just silly. Especially if you’re starting out at $40k a year. That’s 20% of your takehome. Start with 10% of your gross salary ($330). (the 401k is not taxable until payout) As for contributions to your child’s college, you can’t start a 529 until the child is born. Save another ten percent for replacements… realistically, a car, but once again never buy new. $330.

      So my total is $3700 a month. $44,400 cash a year. Maybe a combined $60k salary.

      You will be able to claim the following on your taxes: interest on mortgage, property taxes, your 401k contributions reduce your taxable income. So you’ll be getting a refund.

      All realistic things are possible.

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    Credit cards are a rip off. I am lucky to enough to pay my card every month but I have a 12% and 16% and I have over a 700 credit score and spend about $3000 a month on my cards and they won’t reduce it.

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    The article forgot to mention bottled water. Much of it comes from municipal water supplies anyway. A HUGE ripoff for the gullible. Your regular tap water is perfectly potable an costs about 1 cent for 5 gallons. If you MUST have something else, or you want to reduce the taste of chlorine, buy a Pur or Brita counter-top water filter carafe and make your own “bottled” water. You may already have a built-in water filter in your fridge.

    To avoid all ATM fees, use your debit card at the grocery store or drug store and get cash back with your purchase every time at no charge.

    • 368

      Houston water is very expensive. Thanks to our socialist mayor (in sensible shoes), water taxes bring our costs to about a penny a gallon.

  138. 369

    The author is young and listening to what others have said and is missing most of the boat.

    STOP going to bars/nightclubs and STOP eating in restaurants. Period. Buy food on sale and make what you can with it. Don’t say I am going to make Lasagna, tonight. Wait to see what is on sale and the decide.

    You don’t have to be a coupon machine but use your store card (not credit card). When something is on sale you use a lot of, buy a lot of it and store it.

    Maintain your car instead of buying a new one or worse, constant leasing.

    I went from being broke to being well off after realizing where it was all going. Everyone knows about the credit card thing. That should go without saying. Most people are not trying to gain wealth who abuse them but are trying to impress people they don’t know with money they don’t have.

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    This article hits the nail on the head – if people would quit wasting their money on stupid shxt, they would have more to spend on the things that matter.
    Kudos to the author – sorry that too many won’t pay attention.

    • 371

      Problem is, too many people are just plain dumb. They’d rather look rich than become rich, or adopt the attitude of, “I bought this because I can!”

      I was like that, thirty-five years ago. Eighteen, dumb, and spoiled. Then I found out that my Dad’s brokerage business had folded and the family had no savings… including my college fund. I worked my way through college. Took five years, but it was worth it. Taught me how to scrimp and save.

      • 372

        Bruiser, I also took five years to complete college. In 1966 I had TWELVE form W-2s, believe it or not. But it felt real good to leave school debt-free. Lots of folks have no idea how dreadfully expensive interest is, especially over time.

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    I agree about not buying expensive coffee. BUT , please do tell me where might I get 6.5% interest on the money saved. Last time I checked it was more like 1%.

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    All car insurance is not created equal, and getting “the cheapest” isn’t necessarily what makes the most sense for people. Get educated and find out WHAT you are paying for – “apples to apples”, sometimes, isn’t!

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    Folks, I am a plain simple country boy from Wv. I grew up poor, worked like a dog, school (HS) was not the best however I KNEW that if I didn’t apply myself early in life I would never leave Wv, amount to anything. So I left home in quest for a job! Not in the coalmines but a job in Wash DC area. I took a gov job @ $3,820.00 per yr. GS3! I transferred to the Post Office after passing an exam. My salary went up plus overtime! Here is the rest of my story in a nutshell! I saved my money! All I could. I eliminated my bills by paying cash and doing without. Only the things I actually needed to work and live and survive. I lived simple, planted a big garden, took care of it, fixed my own cars, changed my oils, put my kids through college and worked, worked until I was 70. I have no DEBT of any kinds. Just utility bills! I cut firewood and burn it in winter to save on heating. When my AC was replaced, I went on line and purchased it sameplace plumbing Company do. I got the highest SEER AC, Furnace and etc for a fraction of the cost. Had it installed by a certified plumbing company and saved over $5k. Insurance is as written above a buyer beware market! I shop for lowest price best value. I don;t care what company as long as I get the best prices. Another thing is investment fees! Stay away from paying fees to financial advisors! Simply do what Warren Buffett says; Invest in Vanguard funds which has low fees and great service. I can give you some real advise on how a big financial outfit in Fla hooked us out of lots of fees. I fired them! To sum this all up, I am now retired and drawing a pension plus social security and have not yet touched my portfolio until I am 70 1/2. Then I have to draw 2k a month. We can live off the dividends and interest on the rest of our portfolio and never touch the principal. We will leave it for our kids or a charity like home for unwed mothers… Audy Haze

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    During the 39 years I smoked cigarettes, I figure that I spent a tad over $65,000. This is based on a pack and ahalf a day at an average price of $3 a pack over 39 years. While that is an eye opening sum, it pales in com parison to the twelve years I have been without a paycheck, which adds up to roughly$700,000 based on my last yea’s salary. And don’t forget the $470,000 in out-of-pocket costs incurred over the 27 surgeries during that time and including the co-pay for my two prosthetic legs. Both legs were amputated due to arterial sclerosis caused by long-term tobacco use. Oh, yeh, don’t forget that those medical costs are only To DATE. The vascular disease is still there and causes more damage daily. So, altogether, my tobacco habit has cost me over $1.25 MILLION dollars! Talk about “up in smoke”!

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    how about:
    #1. Any Credit Cards regardless of rate: usually means we are buying things we don’t really need and paying interest we could be spending on more important things or saving or investing.
    #2. Car Loans (and generally purchasing cars we can’t afford)
    #3. cell phones we don’t need (just want): Amazing how we are now programmed to believe we NEED an $80/month plan plus the newest icrap or similar phone.
    #4. too much house just because someone will lend us the money.

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    I am a regular joe that saves money using common sense. I already had more than enough to retire at 50 but have kept working because I want to. I avoid all the pitfalls identified in this article out of habit. I simply enjoy saving money more than I enjoy spending it. To me, Becoming independently wealthy is not a rule book of do’s and don’t. It is an attitude and a lifestyle choice. You just have to enjoy saving money and enjoy growing wealth more than you enjoy spending money and growing someone else’s wealth.

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    you people are all talking about nothing. go back to cleaning the house, or organizing paperwork or chopping wood or vacuuming or. . . i don’t do any of those things on the reporters list. don’t like coffee. car insurance is vern fonk! u people sit at the computer too much.

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    The only way people should splurge on brand-name clothing is if they are looking for high-quality, but it should NEVER be just for a label. Outdoorsy gear, athletic shoes, and Winter clothing are good to splurge on. Winter clothes can be used year after year. It is also important to have good athletic shoes and outdoors gear. But as for the rest, FORGET ABOUT IT! That also goes for food, generic store brands can be tasty too.

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    Funny how they always mention tobacco products, but never do they mention alcohol which ought to be number one on the list. My wife and I don’t use either and amazes us how much people spend on this stuff next to over eating.

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    Luckily I do none of those things. I quit smoking, never got into the Starbucks habit, and (it took two years) but I paid off all my credit cards. Also, our house is paid off. Two other stupid habits are expensive phone plans and high cable/satellite package fees.

    Expedited shipping is a good thing if you know how to do it right. IF you buy a lot of things from Amazon, spend $100 a year and get expedited shipping through Amazon Prime. You also get a lot of free programming for when you cut the cable box. Spend $50, buy a Roku. By a digital antenna for your HDTV ($30). Get rid of your cable package and just pay for Internet bandwidth. Oh, do not sign up for their “cheap” phone service. Get a Magic Jack. We keep a landline for my ICD monitor.

    OUr full telephone, Internet, television, and alarm monitoring costs us $170. It’d be $30 cheaper without alarm monitoring. We buy bandwidth and alarm monitoring from Comcast (saved us $80 when we got rid of cable). We’ve had Roku for a year, so figure that as five bucks a month. Amazon Prime is $8 a month. Our phones are smartphones, but the cheapest out there (Samsung Galaxy Lite), and our package cost less than our old non-data plan. Since my home bandwidth does NOT have a data cap, and neither does my office, I use Wi-Fi whenever possible. $70 a month. If I could dump my smart phone for something cheaper I would.

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    Cell phone – get a month to month prepaid plan with no internet access. Cable/Dish TV – cut the chord, you know you want to. Besides saving $150-200 a month, you will have more security without a “smart” phone and no cable company to deal with; not to mention, no contracts.

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    The jist of this article is little things really really add up. A daily $4.50 latte would be $1,642.50 per year. Now shave that away from your income and see what you have left.

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    It is easy to save. Make do with Less and put some money back. Doesn’t matter how much or where you put it. Do it every payday. Our Grandparents did it and so can you. The trouble is we have turned into a society that requires instant gratification and nobody wants to do with less, they want it all now.
    Put a little back, it will feel good….

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    let me just say this. people that are caught up in starbucks coffee image BS are fools. their costs are completely out of control and people continue to buy their products…… by the way, that coffee you pay way too much for is made by flash roasting the beans ( which means they are burnt ) and the reason for this is so that any starbucks you go to you are sure to get coffee that tastes the same, because once the beans are burnt, all you get is the burnt taste in the coffee. they started doing this years ago because customers were complaining that when they went to different locations the coffee didn’t taste the same. burn all the beans and all the coffee taste the same and all you starbucks fans are paying stupid high prices for it. only in america can people get caught up in the commercial brainwashing that makes it more important to have that starbucks cup in their hand thinking their all that but in reality being used by a company that is mega rich from taking advantage of people that are so quick to jump on the cool bandwagon that they have lost all of their good sense. sad

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    quit smoking june 14th, 2012. Calculated savings as of Christmas 2014 with my wife. $11,370!!!!!!! And I’ve put in a jar the money i would spend on smokes every day since. Bought a new Kubota zero turn lawnmower, a used small dump truck and got it painted with the money I”ve saved. Not to mention, i feel pretty stinking great!!!!!

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    1. Taxes
    2. Marriage and children
    3. Divorce
    4. Car payments
    5. Housing
    6. Health care

    As a man, these are the things that will leave you broke. Modern American women, with a few exceptions, are living some kind of fairy tale about what marriage really is and will not stand by a man. It is best to never marry, to have no children, to buy efficient cars you can afford (with cash) and run them forever, to save a large downpayment for adequate housing (not luxury), and to take care of yourself.

    Not ideal, but our society has deteriorated and greed has taken hold. Live within your means and stop making money for “the man” and for women who are users.

  163. 397

    wealthsoup is so stupid . i got a job that has a pension and retired with a pension. with my pension and ssi i make over 60,000.00 a year. i dont has a saving account and never did 401 or stocks. i enjoy my life by spending my money any way i like. still spending my money on thing i like. if people want to retired with no worries and good money until you die plus it rolls over to your spouse. get a job with a pension, period.

  164. 398

    Boo hoo! I don’t drink expensive coffee, getting my coffee for free from the bank. I don’t have mortgage on my co-op apartment. I don’t do any of the things which waste money mentioned in the article. How can I save more money?

    W.

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      You are doing a good job – Save money – All that you can
      Then use 80% to invest as Audy Haze says – just above you.
      Buying a house. Take the cheaper interest rate even if it is 40 years.
      however pay double payments every single time. The entire EXTRA Amount is deducted from principle.
      If you can’t make double payments then buy a different house.
      If it isn’t the house you want in 5-7 years sell it. You’ll get back all you put in that was principle Plus the New Value. That s you new down payment – Now you can get the house you want.

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    The biggest thing I waste money on is taxes. I wish I could get out of wasting my money on something as worthless as government.

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    I did not think this subject was about condemning people about there skills , but about spending foolishly . how many of you are perfect ?

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    My neighbor and I make the same money and drive the same car.
    I paid 12,000 less for mine when it was 2 years old and he is upside down in his 2 YO car, that he bought new.
    They smoke at over $100/week, Drink the same amount and eat fast food most nights.
    Their house is in foreclosure although they are making more now than when they bought it.
    They have 6 credit cards that are maxed;I have no balances.
    We eat far better than they do, quit smoking, and all 5 of us (including our 3 kids) cook supper together and enjoy. We try to watch 1 show on TV a night together. My wife is under 40 and I am just over. We have a half million in a blue chip account. We read the financial rules before we were married and really enjoy our life.
    I think the key here is just 2 things- We are comfortable with who we are and we don’t spend it just because we have (or will have it) I offered to help the Jones, but was nicely rebuked. We are still friends.
    This is the case of the Jones Keeping up with the Smith’s.

  170. 407

    I think there’s some generic products that don’t work as well as name brand, and you end up paying more when you go generic. Why? You’re always buying more of the generic, because it doesn’t work so well. For instance, cheap detergent doesn’t work as well as the name brand. You got to use a lot of it for it to work.

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    i believe you forgot alcohol on the list — but of course you were so busy vilifying cigarettes you forgot how expensive alcohol can be.

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    Buying groceries is expensive everything is expensive so its no surprise that anything we spend our money on is expensive so you deal with it and enjoy life while you can. I buy Starbucks because the tea I make at home doesn’t taste as good as they make it, They are pros and I’m not my tea at home is from a grocery store it isn’t a special blended tea. Grant it I could buy a tea maker but I don’t have the money to buy one which would be more expensive than making my own tea….blah blah blah you get the idea. I don’t go to starbucks every day so every once in a while wont kill my budget.

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    I do a lot of shopping for food items at WalMart. I find that their name brand (Great Value) are 90% of the time better taste wise and other wise that your popular brand names.

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    Actually most Insurance Companies charge smokers extra, so the cost is not always lumped into everyone else’s. But you are correct in that smoking provides no tangible gain and wastes money that could otherwise be put to good investing.

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    If any of these things effect your wealth you really dont have any, just spend it on the simple pleasures of life like those mentioned above..

    • 415

      Don Please tell me what “Simple Pleasure” do you get by paying $2.50-$3 for an ATM fee ?? Did I miss out on something ???

  178. 416

    This article trots out the same cliché advice saving money.
    I go to Starbucks quite often, but I don’t spend $4.50 for my coffee there. I spend $1.89. I buy espresso. That is the cost of espresso at Starbucks, $1.89. Is that making me go broke? Um, hardly. Also, consider that while someone might splurge in one area of their life, they might cut back in others. Maybe they go to Starbucks every day, but they go without cable tv and gym memberships. Its all about how much you spend overall and how much you save.

  179. 417

    So, the author places their own values on spending and then tells me where I spend too much. Great. Here’s my list:

    Iphones- Way too much money when you can get the same functionality for half the cost.
    Cell phone bill- If you pay more than 40 a month you’re getting ripped off.
    Your car- No one under 30 needs a new car and no one should ever pay more than 10% of their annual salary for a car. (unless it’s for business). So if you make 40k a year, you should spend no more than 4k on a car. It will get you where you need to go and you save 20k at least. (that’s a lot more than a couple of cups of coffee).

    Agree- If you can’t pay it off when your CC bill comes then don’t buy.
    BUt the number one thing that costs all ‘paycheck to paycheck’ types money is they don’t have or track to a BUDGET.

    Folks should understand that every company in the world wants your money. They sit in meeting rooms all day long every day trying to figure out how to get your money. They have smart people, they have technology, they know what you like, where you shop, what websites you go, what kind of shows you watch and everything else about you. THey want your MONEY! The only weapon you have to protect yourself and your money is a budget. So make one and practice sticking to it. Otherwise you will lose and you will never save.

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    I quit smoking when it went $30 a carton but then I spent the saved monies on more beer. What a tangled web I’ve weaved… Almost 8 years clear…

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    Be aware of the generic vs name brand thing. Some things generic will cost you more over the long run. TP and garbage bags should always be name brand as the generics tend to fall apart rather easily. I suppose if you don’t mind wiping with your hands or double bagging your trash, go ahead.

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    You didn’t mention alcohol. A friend of mine who worked at a large brewery remarked that their product was interesting in that the cost of the beverage within the container was less than the cost of the container … we’re talkin’ pennies here for both …

  186. 424

    The USA treasury prints money ,however it is not free.We pay for that money with our taxes and higher priced goods.The treasury has printed 3 trillion dollars in extra currency since 2010, before 2010 their was only 800 billion dollars federal reserve notes printed since the beginning of the federal reserve corporation or 1913.The flooding of currency into the banking system and not the economy has caused tripling of prices with very few wage increases enriching the bank cartel .The Federal Reserve CORPORATION yes CORPORATION or (FRC) dictates monetary policy in this country.They are a non government banking cartel corporation who are owned by six large multinational banks which are directly connected to the other central banks throughout the world,This (FRC) has bankrupted this country while collecting huge amounts of interest on this newly printed money which they return to their owner banks in a 6% dividend yearly.They want to continue this money expansion policy which devalues are real wealth because they are getting richer and richer.In 1980 banking was around 12% of our Gross domestic product (GDP) banking now makes up 70% of our GDP . That is 7 out of 10 businesses in the USA are banks.If we stop selling or buying our USA bonds with this ridiculous system the whole system will fall apart, No wonder the FRC keeps pushing back raising interest rates,but this paper thin system is cracking and our bond selling ratios are dropping. The end is near !

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    I don’t do any of those things and still money isn’t exactly growing on trees. I can’t imagine how long my money would last if I did even two of them..

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    I agree with all but one item. Most of the time Expedited (priority mail) is cheaper than parcel post for most items shipped. I sell on Ebay, and get this question constantly “can you please send by parcel post, I’d rather not pay for Priority Mail”. I am constantly educating my customers that times have changed and typically Priority Mail is not only faster, but cheaper than standard shipping. Now over-nighting a package is another matter entirely… maybe that is what the writer was referencing… that would be spendy!

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    Stop pushing your anger and hatred on me!!!!!! ” I am nothing like you”…..”I want love and kisses”…….”I dont hold a knife in my hand like a phycho”……”I dont want to hurt the one I love”…….”Hide behind all your false everything becuase I wont hae any paryt of any of this”…….P.S.-“Didi you know that today is a beautiful day”…..”Beet up and all”…

    • 430

      “I laugh at how every time I write something and push the button to list what I wrote”
      “Lots of the words are misspelled”…..”Its funny because I even read what I wrote before I push the button and it still comes out misspelled like I am “Inbread”…Da! “Well”….”This has been going on for years”….”Maybe it is a ghost”…”Hopefully when I push the button this time the spelling will be correct”….”YAY!”

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    While I agree with the expensive coffee tip (I only drink regular coffee anyhow), the OP telling us to invest the other $3.50 and have it turn into $225,000 by the time we retire, is easier said then done. This assumes one is making the right investments, which the OP doesn’t bother telling us what those investments should be, the interest rate remaining the same and that everything will somehow work all out in the end. There is no guarantee of any of that. There is no guarantee you will even live to see next week. So go ahead and splurge once in awhile and enjoy life.

    • 434

      $3.50 per day would be VERY easy to turn into $225,000. If you buy coffee 25 working days per month, that’s $1050 per year.
      If you invested $1050 per year, with a 8% return, that is $272,009 after 40 years (from age 20 to 60).
      At age 70, it would grow to a whopping $602, 458!!!

      A cell phone costs around the same ($80/month would be $1000/year roughly). I am “only” 45, yet am worth over $1m, and have a $100 per year Tracfone. It works fine. Anything better is an expensive toy.

      Cable TV costs $1000 year as well…another $600k you could have saved! I have cable TV but didn’t for quite awhile – until I was 5-10 years out of college and making good money (engineering…not a fortune, never made $100k and still “only” make upper 80’s)).

    • 435

      Also, you are very pessimistic which is why you likely don’t have wealth. Don’t; forget coffee prices will likely go up – I did not even include that fact in my math!

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    The problem with savings IS simple. When the banks ARE paying you 0.05% to use your money to loan out at 4+%, WHY PUT YOUR MONEY IN THE BANK!!!! Might as well spend it!

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    I don’t think it is dumb to buy Name Brand Products. Example laundry detergent… TIDE vs. Xtra. I have done both..Tide saves me $$. Also, what about food? Buying generic food vs. whole foods. Ok, I am spending more, but I would rather be healthy than have high fructose corn syrup in my food! Not everything needs to be name brand, but I have done both and I realized you get what you pay for!

  198. 441

    So the writer says you can save all this money on coffee with a savings account of 6.5%?
    Where is that bank at? His imagination?

    • 442

      The writer does not say anything about a savings account. It clearly says if you *invest* not save. We have already clarified this in response to other comments if you want more information on where that number comes from.

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    1) go barefoot or wear socks or flip-flops around the house. 2) Use light-blocking drape liners, to block out hot and cold weather. 3) Use small appliances 4) mend and repair, rather than throwing away 5) Get a simple cook book e.g. at a thrift or used book store, and learn to make spaghetti sauce, etc. 6) use a crock pot–throw in most any vegetables and meat combination + broth, tomato sauce, or creamed soup 7) Use spices and a splash of olive oil to improve the taste of prepared foods 8) return less than satisfactory generic and store-brand foods for a refund 9) Use less expensive ingredients in soups, stews, casseroles, pasta dishes and pot pies 10) Play active or board games 11) Buy a book of puzzles and word games 12) play solitaire 13) Use hard plastic for reusable water bottles–but don’t leave them in a hot car–to avoid toxins 14) Buy water at well-maintained “water machines” for about 50 cents or less a gallon 15) wash most items in cold water 16) garden in large pots or raised beds 17) Sing 18) visit the lonely 19) cross stitch, crochet, do hobbies, etc–buying supplies on sale or at thrift shops and yard sales 20) buy classic and basic clothes–don’t buy items with pockets, collars or unusual styles or colors that will soon go out of style 21) sit on the porch or patio and enjoy the breeze and view 22) download books, music, etc. from the library 23) Look up how tos, photos, jokes, games, etc on the computer 24) research your genealogy 25) Make dip with unflavored yogurt and buttermilk dip mix and optionally–cream cheese, mayonnaise, etc. 26) eat raw veggies–carrots, celery, cauliflower, etc. 27) Microwave “bake” potatoes and apples–wash and pierce or core 1st 28) microwave “bake” fruit, cinnamon, margarine, sweetener (if needed) and top with wheat germ and/or almond meal 29) wash lightly-soiled windows, mirrors, countertops, etc. with water from a spray bottle 30) sanitize tolilet with chlorine bleach or vinegar–NOT both together, most of the time 31) dry dust items or use slightly damp cloth or sponge 32) ask older people and friends how they save money 33) Research “tightwad” books and sites 34) experiment with substitutions 35) use blank sides of scratch paper and envelopes for notes and printing paper 36) use your imagination and try new things

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    Your comment about cigarette smokers wasting other peoples health care dollars is incorrect. A recent study of health care costs related to smoking said that because a smoker’s life span is shortened considerably, he poses less of a drain on the healthcare system than non-smokers.
    So please let us smokers die in peace while you will be a burden on the healthcare system long after we are gone.

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    I smoke tobacco from a pipe, but I’m not addicted and am not spending hundreds of dollars a month. I probably spend at the most $200-$350 annually. I willingly spend money on things that make me happy and relax me. As long as you can afford something that pleases you without leeching off of others, then there’s no problem.

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    Stupid article. As long as you want that item and the item is part of your budget, it will not cause you to go bankrupt. Now if you want to save a little more every month you could cut out on those unnecessary items.

    But them again, what is necessary and unnecessary? Do you need to take a vacation every year? Do you need dine out every Saturday night?

  206. 453

    “But on top of that, smokers also waste millions of dollars of other people’s money through the health care system, where their insurance costs are lumped in together with non-smokers, increasing the cost of everyone’s medial care” – Not according to a recent Harvard study, the early death actually benefits society financially now that people are living so long.

  207. 454

    That is well said, but the dam people who dont make a difference of prices are those who normally get free government money. They never worked for it was handed to them to use so never care about prices.
    One can save money that he/she worked for. Thank you for giving people some insight.
    Americans are so ignorant on how to spend their money, but ofcourse not all. Some are hard working people who earn their money for what they do. some of them ignorant-primitive. And some dont even care because as I said ,is the government money.

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    WAIT.
    I agree. Do not buy the expensive coffee. But, please be kind enough to tell me where I can get an average interest rate of 6.5%?

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    Something you may not have thought of…

    When you are buying that coffee, do not use the drive through lane. You can’t believe how this will impact your gas mileage until you check it yourself.
    Besides, I find it faster to go into the store. Exercise benefit as well.

  212. 459

    Why not add to the list Apple branded products. Consumers pay an additional 30 to 50% for the Apple logo, when compared to competitive devices with the same functionality. Forgoing the Apple brand would add over $100,000 to net-worth at retirement time. That assumes 40 years to retirement, $500 per year of Apple purchases, and a 6.5% interest rate.

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    There are two much bigger things that were left off the list, and they are healthcare costs and student loans. As getting overpriced coffee is nothing compared to what those two things cost.

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    You can tell this article was written by, or at least the information provided by, accountants who have absolutely no understanding of intrinsic value of intangible benefits. I didn’t go to college to earn multiple degrees to land a good paying job in a good career just to pinch pennies. If I want a $4.50 coffee, a $60 steak, or a BMW M6 versus a damn Tarus then by God I’ll have it! Yes, saving for retirement is high in my priority list, but I’m going to enjoy the fruits of my labor along the way.

  215. 462

    The article left out one of the biggest wastes of money- alcoholic beverages. We would have better health and happier families without the alcohol that so many are addicted to …

  216. 463

    The system is built on self-sustaining philosophy. Nothing to do with welfare of you or anyone individual. The great models they profess are outliers and made for suckers to believe.

    It’s a excellent system of self-indulgent slavery of a lifetime that the lawyers and thieves (I mean politicians) can enjoy from their vantage positions

    Almost no one succeeds in this system except .0001%

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    Ya know this didn’t touch on the big ones like drugs and alcohol. I have a buddy who makes $600 a week take home. He still lives at home and smokes away roughly half his paycheck with his medical marijuana card. I’m sure it is a familiar story whether it be weed, beer or whatever.

  219. 466

    It is not how much you make, it is how much you keep.
    I’ve seen people making $500k a year go broke because they were spending $650k a year abusing credit. I know a man who was a barber and never made a big income, but saved his money, bought a small home on a small piece of land. Years after it was paid off he sold it for a large sum of money and retired wealthy. During the earlier years they had all they needed, but were certainly not considered rich; just regular working people.
    The key is to start a discipline of saving and then investing. At first it does not matter how much you save, but THAT YOU SAVE. Save any amount monthly with discipline and don’t worry about the interest rate. Over time the discipline will drive you to stop wasting in other areas and start adding that to your savings.
    A couple I know started saving only $5 per month; soon they were saving $250 per month. That was years ago and now they are saving far more AND they are debt free (mortgage, cars, etc). It is possible and it is possible for anyone…couples, single moms, singles,…….US citizen or not.
    Figure out what you need for emergencies and save to that level (don’t worry about the interest rate, this is your emergency fund. Once you have that amount saved you can allot the saved cash for future investments that have the potential to growth. Once you have some money saved you can start looking for a place to invest it (that is a whole different subject), but you have some time to get to that point.
    Start all this early, time is your friend. Finally, don’t believe the people that say this won’t work. They are wrong. If they still maintain it won’t work ask them to see their financial statement. If they can’t (or wont) show it to you, you have your answer……they have not been able to put any of this into action and they don’t want you to either. YOU CAN DO IT!

  220. 467

    Unhealthy food including processed and refined foods with high sugar content and all animal products cost us all a fortune from their ill effects on our health. OBESITY and all food-related disease actually costs our health system more money than tobacco. Also, NEW CARS are an instant loss of money, depreciating as soon as you drive them off the dealer’s lot. Americans are obsessed keeping up with their next door neighbors. They so do at their own peril, which is why the U.S.A. is the single greatest debtor nation in the world. Citizens here have virtually no net worth, zero savings and thousands of dollars of unnecessary debt. The revolution will start when we all start abstaining from all the useless products and services the powers that be keep enticing us to buy. We are not consumers! We are not sheeple! We are human beings — spirits visiting for a while in bodies that will soon perish. All the crap we bought will no longer belong to us when we’ve dead and gone. It’s important to keep that in mind with every purpose. I assure you that you will never spend the same way again. Free ourselves from the culture of useless stuff, and we are immediately liberated, able to know true happiness.

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    I’m missing Cable TV in the mix. Paying $200 a month for TV where is commercial break every 10 min seems not smart to me.

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    You forgot 2 important things that can cause a person to go broke. Try stop breathing and see how much they charge you to get you back to breathing. Be born and see how much it cost to keep you alive.

  224. 471

    dont use toliet paper and save even more. so whats the point and where do you get 6 percent plus on your money. come on you can eat bugs and dirt and save too.

  225. 472
  226. 473

    Long story short. Don’t buy things you don’t need, cook and eat at home, save the left-overs and take them with you next day to work and you don’t pay for food at your lunch time. quit drinking and smoking and you’ll save a lot. just get what you really need, and not what you just want to have.

  227. 474
  228. 475

    Most of you commenting on this article don’t even know what you are talking about. Its an article about wasting money. You get all caught up in a person’s language ability, and not the content of his or her comment. I agree that someone trying to use a second language should be commended. Most Americans can’t even properly communicate in English, let alone a second language.

  229. 476

    What was your first clue that horribly overpriced coffee was going to be economically unfeasible? Was it the sticker shock of the first cup? Or, was it the going-along-with-the-crowd gene that caused you to NEED that brown strip of paper around the cup that your peer group insisted you have?

  230. 477

    Not to *EVER* donate money. Donating your time that should be done if you are willing to do so, but NOT MONEY. Everyone needs their money for if they get cancer one day or a tornado(since insurance doesn’t cover everything), etc.

    Also, checking your receipts EVERYWHERE you go. I have been overcharged at restaurants(fast food and non-fast food) as well as stores. You wouldn’t believe the THIEVES out there putting prices up on shelves or signs or menus, then charging more. I catch them all.

    That’s how you save money.

  231. 478
  232. 479

    you can live in this world to be so f… cheap. Save money for retire buy the time you retire you are too weak to do anything so just feed yourself

  233. 480

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