We’ve also rounded up advice on how coupons and buzz words and phrases (“Limited Time Only!”) can easily push consumers to waste money they otherwise would have saved.
4 tips to save on prescription meds. These tips are all prescribed by an actual doctor (a Harvard Medical School graduate, no less). The most important bit of advice is to just swallow your pride and deal right away with the awkwardness of discussing prescription prices with your doctor:
Don’t wait to ask about drug cost until after the prescription is written. Your doctor might be a little grumpy (and possibly resistant to changing the drug) because he/she will have to re-do the prescription(s). Instead, ask up front when the “you may need a medicine/change your dose/get refills” discussion starts.
5 pieces of toddler gear you actually need. The list of inessential gear and products for toddlers is almost as long as the one for useless baby products. While you may not think of crayons as “gear,” most parents would agree they’re essential:
Hands down, my favorite toddler toy is a simple box of crayons. Steal some paper from your printer and you can transform your little mess maker in a regular Picasso. You can also ditch the flashcards and use the crayons to illustrate your own alphabet and set of numbers.
5 ways coupons can be bad. When taken to the extreme, couponing can be a time suck that doesn’t save all that much money. Coupons and discounts can also push consumers to buy things they hadn’t planned on and don’t necessarily want—meaning what’s happening is actually spending, not saving:
NPD found that, of the 25% who do buy on impulse, 80% say they do so when they see an item is discounted.
6 reasons for buying a car with cash. A car loan masks the true costs of the vehicle, especially depreciation:
If you’re like most people, when the car is paid off, you’ll trade it in as a down payment for your next vehicle and begin the cycle all over again. This makes it harder to look at your car purchase for what it actually was: one of the most expensive things you ever bought that then lost tremendous value over the time you owned it.
7 tips for increasing your gas mileage just by changing a few habits. “Hypermiling for beginners” doesn’t have to get much more complicated than this:
LEAVE EARLIER!!! If you’re driving inefficiently, chances are it’s because you’re in a hurry. It sounds crazy but leaving 10 minutes earlier will give you plenty of time to drive efficiently.
“It creates this notion of scarcity, that you’re going to miss out on something,” says Ravi Dhar, a professor of both marketing and psychology at Yale University. “That creates a sense of urgency, and it’s a signal of value.”
10 free money podcasts worth a listen. No, these aren’t podcasts that earn the listener free money. Those would really be worth a listen. Instead, these are podcasts about money that happen to be free for listeners, and that come recommended by the personal finance blog SquawkFox. Here’s her favorite:
The fiscally responsible (and highly entertaining) vocal stylings of NPR’s Planet Money podcast will beam you down to the same level as high rollers, brainy economists, and regular folks in a fun and accessible way. Easily my favorite, this down-to-earth 30-minute podcast makes sense of the global economy without a single note of pretentious babble.
50 good personal finance habits everyone should follow. 50? Changing even a single habit can be difficult. Luckily, there’s a fair amount of overlap on this easy-to-read checklist, and hopefully you’ve already developed many good habits concerning money, like:
Increasing your 401(k) contributions every time you get a raise.
Resisting the urge to tap your emergency fund for non-emergencies.
52 places to find coupons. Coupons seem to be everywhere lately, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find one when you need it. With this exhaustive list for locating them, you really have no excuse. You might even find them here:
I bought fish from a regional company at the Farmers’ Market and got a 25-percent off coupon for my next purchase. I’ve noticed more local growers and suppliers are going this route at markets. Ask if you don’t see coupons on display tables.
(MORE: How Coupons Became Cool)