Friday List: Cheap Movies, Financial Concepts Not Taught in School, Worst Charities, Worst Money-Saving Tips, and More

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Read on for advice on how to avoid money fights with your significant other, how to figure out what car will really cost you less money over the long haul, and how to dumpster dive like you’ve been living on the streets for years.
3 Ways to Save on Air-Conditioning. The basics, per an AP story, come down to: buy an efficient unit, seal the area being cooled, and turn the darn thing off when you’re not using it.

6 Strategies for Successful Dumpster Diving. From Wise Bread, and includes solid advice for rounding up “trashure” such as:

Timing Is Everything

When I lived in Chicago, October and May were always the prime picking months. Old apartment leases ending and new ones beginning create a glut of items weeded out in the transition. During these months, the alleyways in Chicago were veritable shopping aisles full of chairs, air conditioners, lamps, dishes, books, and clothes just waiting for an open trunk. In other neighborhoods, look for estate sales and yard sales — the evening after one of these events usually finds most unsold items relegated to the curb.

6 Herbal Supplements You Should Think Twice About Before Buying. The FreeShipping blog reveals that all sorts of supplements are supposed to help fight cancer, or diabetes, or obesity, or depression, or Alzheimer’s, or … you get the idea. But there’s often little truth to go along with the claims—good to know about (even if this story lists garlic twice in its list of supplements).

6 Ways to Go to the Movies on the Cheap. BankRate suggests, for example, the drive-in on nights when you’re charged by the carload (and you bring lots of people, obviously). Also suggested is going to the movies less often. That’s certainly one way to cut back on your going-to-the-movies tab, the same way that not eating is a way to save on your food expenditures.

7 Ways to Protect Yourself from Cell-Phone Overage Charges. Before your cell-phone bill explodes, check out this advice from Consumer Reports, which clues you in as to if and how you can get free overage protection, and how all sorts of cell-phone users can find out how close they are to going over their plan and incurring charges.

7 Ways Couples Can Work Through Money Fights. Discussing finances regularly—say, every three months—is better than trying to hash things out only when problems arise, according to a post from TheFrisky.

10 Everyday Ways to Be Frugal You Don’t Already Know About. Tips from WalletPop readers, who offer nuggets like that windshield wiper fluid works wonders on mirrors and windows in the home, and it costs much less than the stuff made for in-house chores.

12 Important Financial Concepts You Didn’t Learn in School. Teachers (most teachers anyway) don’t teach you about sunk costs, the time value of money, or risk versus reward, so BillShrink offers some brief lessons.

20 Worst Charities in America. Where you might not want to give if you want your money to actually make it to those in need. Here, from MainStreet, the charities with the highest percentage of administrative costs; in some cases, less than half the money donated reaches the intended recipients.

21 Lowest True Cost to Own Cars. In this case, Edmunds isn’t focused on purchase price, but on how much an automobile will costs its owner over the course of five years, factoring in gas, maintenance, and other expenses. One car is listed as cheapest in each of 21 different categories—sedan under $15,000, convertible under $35,000, hybrids, that sort of thing.

28 of the Worst Money-Saving Ideas Ever. From Consumerist readers, who, among other things, advise against dollar-store trash bags, hand washing laundry, generic Oreos, and getting married as a means to save on income taxes.