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10 Bad Spending Habits

Start the New Year off right by breaking these habits in order to save yourself some money. You will be surprised how even the littlest of savings can make a difference to your finances.

Out of Network ATM fees
Racking up fees by using ATMs that aren’t on your bank’s network? “Foreign” ATM fees average about $2.50 per transaction. That’s more than $250 per year if you use out-of-system ATMs just twice a week! Learn more about Solidarity’s ATM locations.

Bottled Water
Getting your recommended daily amount of water exclusively in bottled form can easily cost more than $1,000 per year, as compared with about 50 cents per year for just-as-healthy tap water. If your tap water has a chlorine flavor, try refrigerating it overnight before drinking.

Oil Changes
Regularly changing the oil in your vehicles and staying on top of routine maintenance are good habits to have, but if you’re still changing your oil every 3,000 miles, you may be wasting money. Newer vehicles often use synthetic oils that can last 7,500 miles or more. Visit this website checkyournumber.org for oil change information on newer model vehicles. It’s a pretty slick way to save.

Incandescent Light Bulbs
Even though they cost more, “compact fluorescent lamps” (CFLs) — those crazy corkscrew bulbs — last about five times longer and use about 75% less electricity. That could easily add up to a net savings of $10 per bulb per year.

Extended Service Plans
Be cautious when buying an extended service plan or warranty on electronics, appliances and other merchandise. They’re rarely a wise purchase, and typically go unused or forgotten by the consumer. Most merchandise comes with a manufacturer’s warranty that’s sufficient for most defects and repairs.

Late Fees
Americans pay more than $20 billion each year in credit card late fees and other penalties! Put routine monthly bills on an automatic payment plan through Solidarity’s Bill Pay so they’re always paid on time.

Dry Cleaning
Few of today’s garments really need to be dry cleaned. Hand washing in cold water then air drying is preferable for many items according to Consumer Reports. Home dry cleaning kits are another money-saving alternative.

Brand Name Products
We’re conditioned by advertising to reach for brand name products without even thinking. Buying generic can typically save 20% or more. Try a few and see what you think!

Aggressive Driving
Not only is aggressive driving dangerous and can cost you in accidents, tickets, and increased insurance premiums but rapid acceleration and sudden braking can lower your gas mileage by as much as a third not to mention the increase wear and tear on your vehicle.

Lottery Tickets
Speaking of driving, did you know that if you drive 10 miles to buy a lottery ticket, statistically speaking you’re more likely to be killed in a car accident than win the jackpot? Why not just stay home and save what you would otherwise spend on lottery tickets?

Source: AARP
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