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February 04, 2010


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I would add vending machines at work.

I really don't understand how cell phone plans are a mindless money waster. That's great that yours is paid for by your employer, but that's not the case for most people.

My husband and I don't have a land line so our cell phones serve as our primary "home phone" as well.

I'm surprised to see magazines on the list. I assume they are talking about buying them at newsstands though -- I can see where that would get ridiculously pricey. I splurged on 4 subscriptions this past December, at a cost of $20 total. I'm enjoying the magazines but already know that I won't be renewing more than one or two of them. There's just not enough time to keep up with four.

I spend about $12 per year at convenience stores, Vending machines (the convenience store?) are another matter though.

I also cringe at the iPhone bill each month. Even though it's a business expense and the best thing since sliced bread, I can see why cell phones made the list.

Bucksome --

1. You understand this is not my list, but one from Yahoo, right?

2. If you click through and read the piece, they say that most people pay way too much for their cell phone plan and don't use anywhere near the time they pay for.

Your answers are very similar to my family. Do you have 2 kids also??
1. No for convenience stores and also I'm surprised they don't list fast food places. Bringing your lunch to work will save $100's if not more than a thousand off per year.
2. My pda is paid for by my employer which also acts as my personal phone (yes it's a good benefit) and my wife has a tracfone also (less than $10/m)
3. Our family doesn't buy soda, bottled water and only wheat bread (not white).
4. No bank fees and every bill I have is setup on automatic bill payment, so no late fees either.
5. I use to subscribe to over a dozen magazines, even the 2 you mentioned Consumer reports and Handyman but now I just go to my library to check them out along wih many others for "free". I say free because you actually pay for it in your taxes so why not use them. Also my library along with most others have a great selection of DVD's to watch movies, so you can cut back on buying them or renting. Plus my library has discounted or free passes to area attractions. Okay, enough about the library, but it is a great resource to save money.
6. I love credit cards and use them for everything. Of course this is only good if you pay them off every month. With all my cards they provide incentives for cash back, merchandice, airline miles, or hotel points essentially for free (again if you pay no interest). Paying for some airline cards maybe worth it if you can use the miles that more than pays for the annual fee.

Cell phone plans are a huge rip!!!! We pay $40/month for my wife and I and never go over the minutes (we don't have a home phone either). Most people for 2 pay $100+

Come on FMF, I finished my basement by myself w/ no prior experience by checking out things on the web. Scrap those handyman mags! :)

I typically only use convenience stores when traveling for business, and then it is to buy a soda and a snack to take back to the hotel. But lately, my wife has encouraged me to bring snacks from home (microwave popcorn and granola bars). I do enjoy a Coke now and then (more now than then), so I've been buying a 2-liter at a grocery store instead of a convenience store. Most of the time, a 2-liter bought at a grocery is cheaper or the same price as buying a 20-oz bottle at a convenience store. I stay almost exclusively at Holiday Inn Express hotels, which almost always have refrigerators in the rooms, so that keeps my Coke nice and cold.

I agree with their take on cell phones. I have an iPhone, paid by my company, and I love it. But monthly calling plan, with data, is over $100 a month! My wife has a Tracphone too, which is just great for her. Her usage is under $100 for the entire year.

I enjoy holding a magazine in my hand, especially when I'm traveling. Since I can't use my computer during take-off and landing, I bring a big stack of magazines and newspapers with me on flights. I subscribe to Inc, Macworld, Fast Company, and some trade journals/papers. They're all paid by the company. Inc and Fast Company are only $10 a year each, so that's pretty cheap, I think. And at Christmas, both Inc and Fast Company invite me to send a gift subscription to someone else for free when I renew my subscription. FMF, maybe I should put you on my list!

1. Convenience Stores: We buy things from a convenience store VERY rarely. Maybe only on a road trip if we really need something while we are getting gas.
2. Cell Phone Plans: I think our cell phones are reasonable. We pay $80.00 for two phones and never have any overage fees. We dropped the land line too.
3. Soft Drinks: We rarely drink them. We never buy drinks out in general.
4. Unnecessary Bank Fees: Have never paid them in my life.
5. Magazines: I have no subscriptions and maybe buy 1-2 a year if there is something I really really want to read about.
6. Annual Credit Card Fees: Have never paid them in my life.

1. I can't remember when was the last time I was in a convenience store, much less bought something frivolous from it.

2. I have a Tracfone that averages $5 a month.

3. I admit I buy soda from time to time, but that's usually once in every 2 or 3 months.

4. What are bank fees?

5. SmartMoney offered an annual subscription for only $12 a year. I thought that was a great deal, but I still declined it. I currently have no magazine subscriptions of any kind.

6. Oooh, I fail here. I have one credit card with an annual fee. However, it has a good history that props up my score, and I still use it from time to time. So, I'm going to keep that for now.

I think you can add buying lunches to the list. You waste so much money every week if you don't bring your pack lunch to work. Seriously!

Is CVS a convenience store? Or are drug stores different? CVS offers some great deals that are cheaper than what you'd pay at the grocery store around here.

1. Convenience Stores: I buy stuff from gas stations on road's part of the fun of road trips. That said, I probably only go on road trips every other year.

2. Cell Phone Plans: We pay $70 for two lines - We usually hit around 500 of our 700 anytime minutes, 150 of our 300 text messages, and about 1000 minutes total including nights and weekends. I'm satisfied, but how much would that cost on a pay-as-you-go phone?

3. Soft Drinks: We usually go through a 12 pack of cans every two-three weeks at home. My hubby likes to get fountain soda once in a while if we're out, but we usually just have water. Dr. Pepper is my weakness...I have at least 2 cans a week.

4. Unnecessary Bank Fees: Haven't paid them since 1982 - when I was born. :-)

5. Magazines: No subscriptions and no purchases.

6. Annual Credit Card Fees: Have also never had any.

1. The markup at convenience stores is astronomical but you can get good cheap java at most gas and go's.

2. I read something the other day about adding Google Voice to your calling plan if you have one of those talk unlimited to your friends plans, and if you have people call your Google Voice number and have it forwarded to your phone you can cut your minutes back to the minimum. I'm tempted to try it out, but would be curious if anyone else has had success with this. And like any other good loophole I'm sure the carriers will catch on eventually.

3. Soda's bad for you anyway!

4. I've always had free checking, let's hope the banks don't take that away from us to make more money.

5. I got a bunch of magazine subscriptions by trading in my frequent flier miles I couldn't use at - you're not guaranteed to get everyone you request, but the second time I tried it I got the Wall Street Journal subscription I'd been wanting but was too cheap to pay for, and 4 other subscriptions.

6. Annual credit card fees are adding insult to injury!

Great post, you've got an awesome blog! Looks like I've found another place to spend my free time.

Crystal, according to my "math", that would come out to be about $124 per month on the Tracfone. So, I don't think that's the way to go for you guys. :D

Tracfone only works great if you have very low usage, such as myself. I typically average about 100 minutes a month.

There is StraightTalk. It similar to Tracfone (and is by the same company), but instead of minutes, you just pay a flat rate for unlimited usage. It's a great deal if you're a prolific cellphone user. However, their unlimited minutes package is $45 a month. Two phones would be $90, so that wouldn't be a good deal either.

For you guys, I would personally recommend to stay where you are.

Thanks Eugene! I didn't really think we talked that much, then I saw our minutes amazes me. I would love to blame it on my hubby, but it's mostly (80%) me. :-)

My local library (Commerce Township, MI) recently added Consumer Reports to its online subscription database. I simply log in with my library card number, and I can just read and research away (for free, hurrah)!

1: I might grab a snack or drink at a gas station convenience store during a long drive but that's it.
2: I have a tracfone because I use my cell phone rarely (working from home I have my landline which is cheaper). I disagree with this though for some people, my best friend is a cell phone addict and spends a lot of time away from home so she makes good use of her cellphone plan, prepaid would cost her far more than her plan does.
3: This is my weakness. I know soda is bad for me but I still drink pepsi a lot and generally buy a 12 pack of cans every week.
4: I haven't paid a bank fee since 2003 when I accidentally overdrew my checking account by 10 dollars on a medical bill. First and only time I've ever done that, the $25 overdraft fee was enough to teach me that lesson.
5: I have 2 magazine subscriptions, Discovery and National Geographic. I got discounted rates for subscribing for multiple years and I find my enjoyment reading them to be worth the cost. I NEVER buy single issues of magazines.
6: No credit card so no fees

I can see where magazines can rack up the money mindlessly. I picked up a Reader's Digest in a checkout lane and was amazed to find out it was $4. Criminy, a subscription is $10.

My daughter drinks way too much soda - and since she allergic to corn - the expensive kind.

And bank fees can happen a lot easier than you'd think. My last one was when I accidently paid a credit card bill with the wrong account using a drop down selection. I couldn't cover it fast enough.

MasterPo agrees with all the points (add to #2 the sub-category of ring tones!), expect for #1.

True, it is more expensive at a convenience store. But you're paying for - the convenience!!

It's a lot easier to pop into a Dairy Barn or a 7-11 for some milk on the way home than it is to go to the supermarket for just 1-2 items.

I go daily to a convenience store. I live in a small town and we have 2. Each has 2-3 tables and locals come in, visit, drink coffee, and sometimes eat. I will buy something if I am hungry and don't want to cook. Love their gizzards, chicken wings, and catfish. It would be better to buy them and cook for myself, but I am 72 years old and am very lazy about cooking. One of the advantages of retirement.

I have an AT&T cellphone on my daughter's plan. It costs me $11 a month. She never uses all her minutes and so mine are free. To be honest, I only signed on because my kids felt I needed it. I absolutely hate it and half the time forget to charge it. I have a landline, which I will never give up voluntarily. It, along with internet & Dish Network, cost me about $105 a month. I love landlines. No one can get you except at home, it has an answering machine, and even when I didn't have it I would not answer the phone all the time. If it is a real emergency they will find a way to contact you. As one philosopher said when asked why he didn't answer his phone, "I'm not it's slave." Perfect answer for me.

I rarely drink soft drinks, but I will get one sometimes at the convenience store with lots and lots of ice on summer days. Ice is a perfect snack-crunchy and calorie less.

It has been a long time since I paid bank fees. Probably since 1973 when I started working at an S&L.

I buy few magazines, but I will be buying less since I read Brian's answer. I will be frequenting the library more often now.

I have also not had annual credit fees for ages. If I had one that charged a fee, I just waited a week or two and picked up a new cc to transfer my balance to. I got reams of offers. Now I am debt free, use my 2 cc's as much as I can, and pay off each month. It is a wonderful way to go.

Would someone please help me? I put a permanent freeze on my credit reports as I had a cc hijacked last year. I will need no more credit, but can reopen it for a specific merchant if I need to. However, someone told me in the last week that I should still check my credit report every 3 months in order to catch any junk that was added to it. Would this be a good idea? Thank.

I feel like I disagree with several items on this list. Waste is a matter of perspective. For example, perhaps you spend enough money throughout the year that the annual fee credit card's benefits vastly out weigh the cost. Also suppose that you use your cell phone with a data plan to maintain connection with the world while you're on the road. There are numerous situations where not knowing something could cost you a lot of money, and cell phones can provide a direct constant link with the internet. Things like those two are very different from person to person depending on their situation, and I think that it'd be naive to believe that for everyone these are areas of waste.

I'm not sure why Cell phones are on this list. My cell phone is my ONLY phone, and I'm on the very cheapest plan available. It's on par with the very cheapest land-line available (again, I do not own a land-line), except my cell phone has mobile convenience. Are we just not supposed to ever use a phone? They're kinda necessary to some point, in today's world.

As for everything else...nope, don't do them, except for soft drinks. I drink roughly half a can of soda a day. I know, I probably shouldn't, but it's one of my very few pleasure vices.

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