7 Things You Should Never Spend Money On

by Guest Contributor · 1 comment

David Bakke is a contributor for Money Crashers Finance. He writes extensively about topics like budgeting, getting out of debt, insurance plans, and smart shopping tactics.

Becoming financially fit is becoming more important every day, especially with many American households facing job loss, rising gas prices, and nagging credit card debt. The mantra of the money-saving movement is simple: don’t spend what you don’t have. Thankfully, in your journey toward financial freedom, there are many things that you can get without spending a dime. Even though most of them won’t pay the rent, getting anything you can for free certainly benefits your monthly budget.

1. Anti-Virus Software
Protecting your computer against threats and viruses is important, but that’s no reason to fall prey to the hype. There are many free software products that protect your computer. AVG and Avast are two of the better options. If you go with one of these, pay close attention to what you’re clicking on during the download process. If you’re not careful, you may find yourself with a variety of unwanted toolbars and default search engines added to your computer. Most of these add-ons are unnecessary.

2. Batteries
Usually around Christmas and a few other holidays throughout the year, many office supply retailers offer 100% cash back rewards on battery purchases. Since batteries are something you’re always going to need, stock up when you see these offers. Just keep in mind that there are expiration dates involved on both the batteries and the cash-back redemption.

3. Tax Return Preparation
As long as you only file a simple return, you should never spend money on tax prep. In the past, there were only a few players in the world of free online tax preparation, but this industry has expanded quite a bit. Check out the IRS website for a list of companies that can prepare your return for free. Many require an adjusted gross income of $57,000 or less, but the IRS now has free forms you can use to file electronically no matter how much you make.

4. Activation Fees
Whether you’re activating a new cell phone, a credit card or a retail account, these pesky fees are almost always negotiable. If you talk to the right person you can usually get them waived without an issue. If you’re encountering difficulties, just tell them it’s a deal-breaker and companies are much more likely to work with you.

5. School Supplies
Many office supply stores also feature back to school supplies with 100% rewards. Just be sure to investigate the fine print, so you know if any exclusions or limitations apply. If you sign up for email updates from your preferred office supplier, they’re going to tell you when these special sales are running. These offers occur at various times throughout the year.

6. Extended Warranties
Most extended warranties on vehicles and home appliances are a big waste of money. I’ve never purchased one, whether it is for a car, refrigerator or a new washer and dryer. In many instances, retailers enjoy a bigger profit margin on the extended warranty than they do on the product itself. The caveat here is that if you’re buying an expensive item for a child, you may want to consider the extra protection to account for potential drops, breaks, and spills.

7. Signing Contracts
Signing a contract almost always costs you money. Whether it’s for your cell phone plan, your internet connection, or satellite TV, there are countless contracts to be signed in a given year, and most of them lock you into paying a rate for at least a year, if not two. Providers want to keep you on the hook for as long as they can, but there are always ways to get around contracted services. Most Internet and cellular providers offer pay-as-you-go options.

Final Thoughts
If you like discounted shopping, sign up for a website like Groupon, and you can get a wealth of free deals sent to your inbox on a daily basis. Although getting something for nothing is the ultimate goal, saving money anywhere you can is an important endeavor. Just keep yourself tuned into the many Internet outlets offering reduced-rate or free items and services, and you can do a lot toward reducing your overall spending.

What other things can you think of that you shouldn’t spend money on?

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ramprasad soni August 1, 2013 at 1:50 am

I am very grateful for your very important tips on many useful topics for the well educated but layman like me.

Thank you Sir.

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