5 things you’re likely wasting your money on

Watch out for businesses that want you to pay to get your credit score

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Even when you think you are being frugal, most people spend money on things you can actually get for free.

When you put down a dollar or two for bottled water, you have likely wasted your money. Consumer stories have shown what you get in some of those bottles is sometimes tap water or maybe filtered water. Either way, you could have avoided that purchase by carrying to work your own reusable water bottle from home.

It’s fun to buy new books, but let’s face it – they’re are expensive and most of us read them exactly once. There are a few books out there that are nice to own, maybe a cookbook, other reference book, or a classic that you read and reread, but most books, once read, just fill shelves and collect dust. Instead, borrow a book from the nearest public library. You’ve already paid for it with your tax dollars.

Watch out for businesses that want you to pay to get your credit score. You do not need to pay to get your credit report because you can pull it up for free at least once a year from anyone of the three reporting agencies. There is no charge if you go tohttp://www.annualcreditreport.com.

If you’re encouraged by an insurance agent to seek the lowest deductible possible, think about it for a moment. The companies who sell you insurance make more money if you pay more, and you pay more with low-deductible policies. By raising your deductibles — the amount you pay out of pocket before insurance kicks in — you can save hundreds a year on your policy premiums. Keep in mind that the purpose of insurance isn’t to prevent financial inconvenience: It’s to prevent financial catastrophe.

On the subject of insurance, don’t get suckered in to those tug-at-your-heartstrings ads that encourage you go buy life insurance for your kids. It’s hard to make a case for child life insurance in financial terms. The point of life insurance is to replace lost income. You might want to buy a policy if your child has a pre-existing medical condition that might make it difficult for her or him to buy coverage as an adult. Otherwise, tell the agent no thank you.

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