Why Spend Money When You Can Buy Something for Free?

7 years 11 months 12 hours ago Tuesday, November 16 2010 Nov 16, 2010 Tuesday, November 16, 2010 11:26:00 PM CST November 16, 2010 in News

COLUMBIA - Imagine how much money you'd have right now if you could have a do-over on so many things you've bought or are paying for without thinking. We've got tips to some of the biggest offenders that you may be throwing your hard earned dollars at.

You've seen it, either in your own garage or someone else's. All of the cast offs that seemed like a great idea but just end up being sold for pennies on the dollar.

"Clothes I don't try on. I see it on the rack. And it looks nice. But i don't try it on and I don't take the tags off of it," said Shauna Marquardt, a smart shopper.

And there are lots of conveniences you don't need and are sinking money into every week or month, like ringtones and apps and games on your cell.

Sure 2 or 3 dollars a pop or 10 bucks a month doesn't seem like much for so much fun, but you can blow a lot of cash really quickly with this type of thinking. The solution, find them for free. Just search for free ones for your specific phone and service provider.

A good website I've found is Free Ringtones from Phonezoo.

If you still want a land-line phone, stop paying for the extras. Have you looked at your phone bill really closely. Do you really use call forwarding? And how often does call waiting make a big difference?

So if you mostly use your cell phone, pick up that land-line phone and call customer service. Cancel the bells and whistles and get the home service down to the bare minimum.

Next, reject paying for new computer software. You got a great deal on your new computer, so why go broke loading it up with software. Before you spend a dime, check out the "freeware" out there.

Freeware Home - Free Software Downloads is an index of site that lists more than 55 hundred programs that really are free. No asking for payment or donations and no time limit for games, graphics, fonts... Every type of desktop tool or gadget imaginable... Free.

Also, stop with the bottled water. Somehow the industry has convinced you to spend about 800 times more to buy water in a bottle than to just drink it from the tap. Bottled water goes for about 8 bucks a gallon...more than twice the cost of milk.

Meanwhile, a gallon of tap water costs you about a penny. If you don't like how it taste...install an inexpensive faucet filter or use a filter pitcher.

Then there's music downloads. Usually about a buck a song. There are plenty of ways to get free music downloads... Totally legal and easy to access.

Check out classical stuff at Classic Cat or Rhapsody. Country at Country Weekly Magazine under the "free music" downloads.

There's also free songs and special deals on Amazon. Click on "Digital Downloads" from the lefthand menu, then "MP3 Downloads." Then on the left under "Browse MP3s," there's a "Free Songs and Special Deals" option.

"If I'm still thinking about it a day or two later than maybe I'll go ahead and splurge," said Angela Belden, another smart shopper.

That's a great way to shop. A few other things you should also take a moment to double-think...extended warranties, gym contracts, rental car insurance, fast food runs and unlimited texting.

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