15 Things To NEVER Buy

From:  Prime Time Money

1.       Your Credit Report – You’re credit report is available for free right now from http://annualcreditreport.com. Don’t be fooled by the other websites. Just go to annualcreditreport.com and get your free credit report every 12 months. You can get 1 free report from each of the 3 reporting agencies every 12 months. (Casey: Please DO NOT use “FreeCreditReport.com”….the fees start soon after that free report lands in your inbox…getting out of that agreement makes it NOT WORTH IT)

2.       Banking Services– Never, ever, pay bank fees for a regular account. Just say no. Sign up for their free account. Switch banks if you have to. Just don’t pay any fees to bank. It’s not necessary anymore. And do your best to never pay for another checkbook again. Pay as many bills as you can using free bill-pay services. When you do run out of checks, make nice with your local bank branch manager and ask him about getting a free refill. You guys know I love the free banking with FNBO Direct and ING DIRECT. I’ve used them. Never paid them a dime. In fact, they’ve paid me. Best interest rates in the industry, by a mile.

3.       Software for Your Computer – Stick it to Microsoft! Don’t buy Excel or Word. Invest in a little “free” and get OpenOffice Calc (like Excel), Writer (like Word), Impress (like PowerPoint), Draw (like Paint), and Base (like Access). Why pay when you can get it for free? These programs all have a “save as…” feature that let’s you save in Microsoft format so you can send files to your ”payin’ the man” friends. (I have many friends who use OpenOffice and really enjoy it. Free software is all over the net. Places like Download.com and others can set you up with just about everything you need. However, BE CAREFUL, there is a fine line between free and fraud…if you have to jump through hoops on LimeWire and Ares…changes are its illegal material)

4.       A Credit Card– I can’t think of a single service that a credit card could offer me that I couldn’t get for free or a nominal fee elsewhere. Nor would I ever dream of using a card enough to garner enough services to justify an annual fee. Don’t ever pay for a credit card annual fee. Isn’t necessary. AmEx even has no-fee cards, and have for years now. Stop paying annual credit card fees.

5.       Books – There’s a magical place in your hometown that’s renting books for free right now: your local library. Check em out. :)And I’m always giving away free books here on the blog. A new book giveaway coming up soon. (PLEASE tell your college kid about this!! I went through all four years of college and never bought a single book…I have a whole strategy for free textbooks…email me for the low down)

6.       Tax Preparation– The vast majority of tax filers don’t need to pay to have their taxes prepared and e-filed. Every major tax prep company (TurboTax, TaxAct, TaxCut, to name a few) offers free e-filing services of some kind. And there’s always the IRS Free File that could set you up with free tax prep and filing.

7.       The Newspaper– C’mon. Do I have to explain this one? If you’re doing it for couponing reasons, ok. But for getting your news?? (Its all on the web now…just like your news station)

8.      Credit Counseling – Credit counseling is available free through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). Don’t ever hook up with some shady “get out of debt quick fix” company.

9.       Water – Well, I realize there’s always going to be that water utility bill. But the bottled water is out. Tap is cool again. (Research studies have shown that the stuff in the bottle is NO DIFFERENT than what comes out of your tap…and did you know that those water bottles are made with petroleum products? Save  money..save the earth…turn on the faucet)

10.   Budgeting Software – The past couple of years have seen an explosion of online free budgeting software options. There are some really nice option available to you. All are without a charge. Quicken Online and Mint are two that I’ve used.

11.    A Pet – Search your local animal rescue center for a pet that’s free and in need. (Or call Genevive Barker at the station..she’s always trying to convince us to adopt! A true animal lover she can point you in the right direction)

12.    Online Shipping – With sites like freeshipping.org now available, you should be able to make most of your online purchases without forking over a shipping fee.

13.    DVD Rentals– Instead of paying $5 for a DVD rental, just go to a RedBox or a New Release rental box in your local grocery store. Before you go though, get the free daily code from www.insideredbox.com.

14.    Auction Listing Fees – While some items require a true auction type service, or a larger audience to be sold for full value, the vast majority of items you’d want to sell online can be sold through Craig’s List. Ebay does have it’s place. But never use it (and pay their fees) if it’s an item that could be sold on Craig’s List. I’ve sold my last two vehicles there.



1 Comment

  1. Great post.

    Perhaps I can add to this that the best way to guard against being ripped off by online sales or auctions is to use an online escrow company. Although it does add some cost, that will take uncertainty out of the transaction.

    For my money, the best bona fide online escrow (and there seems to be ten fraudulent escrow sites for every bona fide one) is probably Escrow.com (http://escrow.com). In fact, it’s the only one that eBay recommends.

    Take care,

    Ulf Wolf

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