By Rachel Newman
I came across an interesting article today. In the article someone wrote that saving money wouldn’t be so hard if we could stop blowing it. It’s a simple, if not silly message that oddly resonates. Each week we release a consumer alert that warns against scam artists and unethical business practices, but how often do consumers scam themselves?
Consider this: how often do we pay out of the nose for an item we could get at low-cost or even for free? If you research my shopping habits, you’d conclude that I do it far too often. We buy brand items when we should buy generic, we pay for bottled water when the government filters it for us.
With the holidays fast approaching, I have compiled a list of money-savings tips to get all of us penny-pinching consumers through to January without feeling the strain.
· New or used? If used will do, forget about new. Often consumers put down extra dollars to buy new cars, furniture and certain clothing items that could be bought second-hand at much lower prices. Don’t get gouged by the showroom. Do some research and you might walk away with a good product and some extra cash.
· Fees are for fools. A popular trend now at many major banks is a fee for checking accounts. Fees can be grating and money-sucking to consumers who are watching their bank accounts closely. The solution? Search out major banks, community banks and credit unions that offer free services. They are plentiful throughout San Diego.
· Try a permanent health kick. One of the fastest ways to needlessly drain your bank account is spending money on highly-taxed items like cigarettes and alcohol. Both come at a premium to consumers and degrade health. Other items like packaged, processed food have the same effect and run at a high cost.
· Live within your means. The most painful way to spend your money is on credit card interest and late-fees. Consumers who only spend what they can pay will save buckets of money in interest, and never have to stress about hefty late-fees.
· Always start your search with the BBB. At the BBB, we offer programs and guides for smart spending. Through BBB.org, consumers can research thousands of local businesses and find out which company can offer the lowest price with good quality service.
For more information about smart spending or BBB Accredited Businesses, visit BBB.org.
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