A “Star” without the “Bucks” – unlearn to waste money here!

Paying for the use of a debit card? No way! The day the banks start doing that it will be my last day doing business with them. I will try to find a bank that doesn’t charge or go to a cash only system. I am protesting.

So in the spirit of protest, let me tell you about some of the ways people throw their money down the drain:

1. New is not always better. Cars, for example, lose most of their value within the first few years. In fact, they say that they cost several thousand dollars less the moment you drive off the dealer’s driveway. So do yourself a favor: only buy new when absolutely necessary. By the way, the same is true for furniture, car seats, even electronic stuff.

2. Free-loader is only a bad name in the boardrooms of credit card companies. Carrying a credit card balance is always a bad idea. For example, if you have a $1,000 balance on a card charging 18%, you are throwing away $180 every year in interest. Think of all the ice cream sundaes that would buy… just kidding! But seriously, work hard at paying off credit card debit as soon as you can.

3. Mauricio’s rule. If you are one of those impulsive buyers, you need to change that. Impulsively. If you haven’t compared prices, don’t buy yet. If you are not sure if you have enough in your budget for it, go home and sleep. When in doubt, use my friend Mauricio’s rule: just before he and his wife are ready to buy something, they look at each other and ask, “But is it really necessary?” And most of the time the answer is a resounding “NO!”

4. ATM does not stand for “Always Taking Money.” A couple of dollars may not be much, but when you go out of your bank’s network, the surcharges keep adding up. Did you know that there are surcharge-free networks, such as Allpoint or Money Pass? Allpoint has one location in Orrville and Money Pass has two in Wooster.

5. Applebee’s or not to bees. If you are struggling with having enough money, stop going out to dinner until you can afford it. $10, $20 or even $30 per person will hurt you. A $3.00 latte on top of that and you are a star without the bucks. Time to learn to cook, pack your own lunch, brew your own coffee, and fry your own greasy eggs.

I think that is enough for today. You are already not liking it too much. More tomorrow.

Ivanildo C. Trindade

PS.: I am indebted to Erin Burt, Contributing Editor, Klipinger.com, for ideas for this post. The twisted writing, however, is 100% mine. Ha!