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Financial Crisis Got You Worried? Try These Hardcore Money Saving Tips

By Nikki Weingartner     Sep 30, 2008 in Business
The economy is folding. Our stock market is crashing. People are blaming. So in reality, is there anything we can do to stop this horrific downward spiral of events that is unfolding right before our eyes?
With the current economic crisis of this country, many people are starting to point the finger, blaming someone else for their economic woes. But have you ever really taken a look around at what money wasting tactics that the common American employs as part of their daily lives, tallying up a wasteful spending bill of thousands of dollars every year?
An article in AOL's Money and Finance that talked about money wasters really brought to light some of these practices, many of which occur right in the home. The premise behind these items is convenience.
Money Waster: Paper Towels
Money Saver: reusable rag or towel
Most paper towels only get one use per sheet and even the reduced cost brands are still costly. Although some people swear they get savings by purchasing in bulk (how many actually buy their paper towels at the nearly $60 US for a case), the bottom line is the cost to reuse a rag is much more cost effective and is better for more than just the pocket book. Plus, is vanity with all those cute little flowers on a superabsorbant throw away roll of 30 sheets really worth it?
Money Waster: Tanning Salons
Money Saver: Hello...Sunshine? Or maybe being comfortable with the skin you are in.
Hey, with specials that rave unlimited sessions for only $200, who could pass up the fake-o-bake option? You never have to go outside again, right? That doesn't include all of the necessary creams and goodies that go with it, not to mention the increased risk of skin cancer associated with tanning beds. If you are that desperate, science has really improved the touch of sunless tanner in lotions these days and places like Wal-Mart have generic brands that will run you around $30 a year.
Money Waster: Movie Rentals
Money Saver: Using your brain.
People these days have cable with paid movie channels, satellite and rent movies. If you are paying a monthly fee to rent movies but aren't getting your money's worth, think of cancelling. If you have a fancy system with DVR and paid channels and all that jazz, you might want to figure out how to use it and save yourself some $$$. Otherwise, you are really just throwing it all away on movies that you aren't watching. You'd be better off going to the theater, buying a family four-pack and then leaving.
Money Waster: Disposable Razors (or anything for that matter)
Money Saver: Electric Razor
If it says disposable, it means "convenient". With razors, unless you buy the really cheap kind at a dollar a package, you are spending a lot of money on the blades when you could spend less than what you pay over the course of a year for those blades and buy an electric that will last for 3-4 years. Just a thought, man.
Money Waster: Pet Clothing
Money Saver: Pets au natural
Look, so you think your Chihuahua or daschund was meant to wear a pink sweater with rhinestones? WRONG. Don't complain about the economy if you are buying clothes for your animal. And your cat doesn't need a precious gemstone adorned collar with a sterling silver bell either. That is for you, not them.
Money Waster: Manicures and Pedicures
Money Saver: Filing your own nails - priceless
Please do not jump behind the time excuse because unless you are a high end executive who is traveling 7 days a week and in meetings 12 hours a day, there is time to file the tips of your fingers at least once every two weeks. A $30 acrylic set isn't really necessary, unless you are carrying around your pink poodle. Save the pedi for a pampering gift card from a friend. It means so much more.
Money Waster: Louis Vitton Handbags (or any other $700 purse)
Money Saver: Ebay, Thrift stores, non-name brand
Again, if you are sporting a Dooney & Burke or a $400 Coach wristlet all the while wondering where you are going to get your next tank of fuel, there may be a problem. Designer handbags are a money waster and with the exception of mainstream fashionistas, they really no purpose except, errrr, Name?
There are so many more ways to save money. From stopping using name brand products, which are usually higher priced to not living in a 4 Bedroom 2 1/2 Bath home in an upscale neighborhood. People tend to do things out of habit or because it is expected of them or as I've said before, C-O-N-V-E-N-I-E-N-T.
Junk food, disposable diapers, paper cups, convenience store products and even designer skin care products topped the list of items people waste their money on.
So in light of all the financial hoopla that is stressing out the country at the moment, take some time and maybe visualize your own spending habits and how you could possibly cut back on things that are really just a waste of precious "gold". If you spend countless hours on the Internet and rent DVDs from a mail in store, do you really NEED cable?
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