Ditch These Three Major Money Wasters and Save Hundreds

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA

This weekend, my family and I spent some time browsing plasma TVs at Best Buy. Strolling past walls of pulsating light and sharp-as-a-knife imagery, I was amazed at how much prices have dropped lately. In line, I was even more amazed at the number of people who purchased extended warranties for their electronics. From a statistical standpoint, it makes little sense. The vast majority of such products malfunction either early on - while still under the manufacturer’s warranty - or way down the road, long after the extended warranty has expired. In this economy, few of us can afford to waste money. So do yourself a favor and decline these offers.

While we’re on the topic of money wasters, I would like to point out another one: gym memberships. I’m not saying you shouldn’t work out! Few things – if any – are more important than good health. But not only do many people pay more than they need to for their memberships (you can use sites such as globalfit.com to compare prices), but many of us don’t need the gym to stay in shape, at least not all the time. This time of the year, why not go for a run or bike ride in the park? The fresh air and change of scenery are free bonuses! I work out at 5:30 am four times a week and love being outside. It is relaxing and also super effective at helping me drop my post pregnancy baby weight.

The third major money waster on my list is overdraft fees. If you are unable to keep a cushion of a couple of hundred dollars in your account or if your balance bounces all over the place, consider signing up for overdraft protection. It typically costs $5-$10 per year, and with overdraft fees starting at $30 per transaction, you may end up saving hundreds.

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Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA

Stacy Francis is the Founder, CEO and President of Francis Financial, Inc., a Wealth Management and Financial Planning firm. With over 18 years of experience in the financial industry, she is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®), a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA™), and a Certified Estate Planning Specialist (CES™). She is the Co-Director of the Association of Divorce Financial Planners’ (ADFP) Greater New York Metro Chapter and a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and an honoree member of the Private Risk Management Association (PRMA). A nationally recognized financial expert, Stacy has appeared on ABC News, CNBC, CNN, PBS Nightly Business Report, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fine Living Network, and The O’Reilly Factor. Stacy attended the New York University Center for Finance, Law and Taxation.