Wednesday, March 1

Will You Make These Money Mistakes?

You would never deliberately throw away money, right? But most of us do, without even thinking.

Ask yourself if you fall for these money traps:

  • Do you pay full price, regardless of service or quality? If you've received poor service or a poor product, do you ask for your money back? Be specific in your complaint, and make sure you're right, but always ask. Virtually all restaurants will adjust your bill if you have a sincere complaint, and businesses from airlines to rental car companies will, at the very least, give you perks for your trouble.

  • Do you ever buy more items just to meet the minimum limit to use a credit or debit card? Shoppers spend on average an additional $11 every time they use a card rather than pay cash at a convenience store. Solution: Carry enough cash for small purchases.

  • Do you buy items you use frequently at a convenience store, rather than a discount store? Stop. Buying items you use a lot in bulk at a discount store will usually save you 10-30%.

  • Does the word "sale" grab your attention? Watch out! Unless you really need an item, buying an item on sale is like burning money. Here's one way to tell if you fall for this: have you purchased clothing on sale that you seldom, if ever, wear? You do? Oops.

  • Are you a "grazer" when it comes to grocery shopping? Grazers just roam the aisles dropping items into their cart with hardly a thought. If you are, you're really popular at the checkout line. The placement of virtually every item in a grocery store is designed to appeal to you. Studies show that up to 60% of your purchases are likely to be impulse purchases. Obvious answer: Make a list and stick to it!

  • Do you go online to buy one specific item and end up buying more than just that specific game or book? All online sellers design their websites to encourage that kind of impulse buying before you check out. Some websites double their sales with this technique. Quick fix: use the web for purpose-driven purchases and fight the urge to buy anything in the spur of the moment.

  • Do you assume that sellers and merchants won't budge on how much they're asking? Whether you're shopping on Craigslist, in stores, or at a farmer's market, asking for a lower price can work! Asking for a price break at independent retailers works really well, for instance, at a local clothing store. Asking for a discount at "big box" stores, can work, too. Ask about a floor model and see if you can get a discount because it's scratched or dirty. Many retailers also offer price match guarantees, and may not only match, but also beat the price of a competitor. Get the point? Ask! And each time you succeed, you'll gain confidence in your bargaining skills.

Saving Money Is Easier Than Making Money

Saving money is a lot easier than making money! Stop making these mistakes and shovel money back into your pocket, where it belongs. Why not give it a try today to see if I'm right?

Good luck!

Cheers, Will

FoolProof Education

FoolProof Education is a highly interactive, self-grading group of online lessons called "Modules." The Modules teach consumers of all ages about money, financial responsibility and the realities of the free enterprise system.

High School, College & Home School Curriculum

Closely aligned to the Common Core standards and state personal financial literacy requirements.

Educate Yourself, a Friend or Family Member

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