6. Brand-name everything else
Brand-name medicines aren’t the only purchase you should be rethinking. Practically any brand-name product might be a bad deal when lower-priced generics are inches away.
Some people bristle at the thought of generics, envisioning watered-down shampoo or cardboard crackers. Certainly, there are some low-quality off-brands. However, your grocer’s store brand is often just as good as the national brand when it comes to quality and taste.
7. Credit cards
Credit card rewards like cash back and travel perks can blind us to the high interest rate we might pay on a card we’re considering. If you ever carry a balance over from one month to another, that interest stands to cost you more money than you gain in rewards.
It’s an even worse deal when we have money sitting in savings, earning practically nothing, while we pay through the nose for credit card interest. The better deal might be to pull money from savings, pay off the card and file the plastic away.
If that’s not an option, at least consider shifting your balance to a no-interest credit card while you pay it down. That way, at least you won’t incur more interest charges for as long as the zero-percent rate lasts.
8. Annual credit reports
Credit report offers can be among the worst “deals.”
Some unscrupulous companies offer to send you a “free” report in exchange for your personal information, which might then be shared with identity thieves. Or, there might be a small processing fee and tiny print that says you’ll be signed up for some credit monitoring service you certain don’t need.
Under federal law, each of the three major nationwide credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — must provide consumers one free report every year. However, the only official place to get your free report is at AnnualCreditReport.com.
We walk you through the process of requesting reports in “How to Get Your Free Credit Report in 6 Easy Steps.”
9. Anti-virus software
Like an annual credit report, anti-virus software is something you need. It’s just not something that requires you to open your wallet.
A variety of free anti-virus programs are available online. PCMag recently selected what it considers to be the best of 2019.
You may also be able to download paid anti-virus software for free via your internet service provider.
10. Smartphone apps
It’s so easy to push the “buy” button for that 99-cent app. But more often than not, we’ve spent money on something we either won’t use or could have gotten free.
Do some research before you buy an app. There are plenty of great free iPhone apps and Android apps.
What everyday items would you add to this list? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.
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