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Buying expensive gourmet coffee
Do you spend a few dollars every day at your local coffee bar or doing drive-throughs at your nearest Starbucks? Here's another area where you're wasting hundreds of dollars a year that you could save just by brewing your coffee at home. If you go to a Starbucks or a local coffee shop just three times a week and spend three dollars each time, which is typical, you're basically wasting $9 a week or more than $450 a year.
Paying fees to use ATMs
We know how convenient it is to just pull into the nearest ATM and withdraw some cash. But if you're using ATMs that are not in your bank's network you're wasting money, especially if you do this several times a week. If your bank doesn't have ATMs near where you live or work, think about changing banks. Or just suck it up and drive those few extra miles to your bank’s nearest in-network ATM.
Do you think you can’t haggle over prices or that there's something wrong with this? Then think again. There's nothing wrong and nothing to lose by asking for a lower price. All the merchant can do is say "no". And, of course, there are some things that are non-negotiable such as groceries, cable and utility bills. However, there are other instances where you could save money by haggling. This can be especially true with jewelers and small shops. These merchants often have high enough profit margins that they'll give somewhat on price in order to get the sale.
Buying stuff new
Do you always buy everything new? There's no law that says you need to do this. When you buy things that are brand-new you may be paying as much as double the price then if you were buy them used. That beautiful, all-wool sweater in its original packaging costs $50. But if you were to go to one of those stores that specialize in gently used clothing you might be able to buy the equivalent of that sweater for $30 or less. There's also absolutely no reason to buy a new car anymore. You should be able to get a great car that's just two or three years old – and coming off lease – for substantially less than you would pay for it new.
Making impulse infomercial purchases
The Electronic Retailers Association says that the infomercial industry brings in more than $400 billion a year. When you fall for one of those infomercials featuring a product you believe you just couldn’t live without and that's "not available in any store," you could end up with a shoddy piece of merchandise that you'll never use or use only frequently. Regardless of how tempting that product might seem, take a deep breath and, in the words of that old anti-drug commercial, "just say no" to yourself. The odds are that you can find something comparable in a store near where you live and for much less than what you’d pay for that infomercial product.