10 Things You Should Never, Ever Pay For

how to save money

Often when we think of achieving financial freedom, we think of becoming excessively wealthy thanks to a high-paying career. Of course, that’s very nice; who doesn’t want to do something that they love doing and make enough to live a financially free lifestyle in the process? However, we often overlook one very simple method of financial freedom; we forget that we can save money and live a more financially free life.

Gasp! Shock! Horror! That’s not wealth. Wealth is not saving and living frugally and making smart financial decisions. Wealth is dropping $2,500 on a new YSL bag and showing it off via Instagram to all our followers. Wealth is driving a brand new luxury car every year and living in a massive house and going on elaborate luxury vacations all the time…right? Well, sure, that’s amazing and who doesn’t want to have all that. However, wealth like that is purely financial. There’s nothing wrong with having financial wealth in that manner – I’ll take it! – but we’re talking about a different kind of wealth (the best kind is the kind that comes from our inner happiness and doing what we love with who we love).

Money is money; it does not matter if you are wealthy because you earned a dollar or because you saved a dollar. A woman with a million dollars in the bank who saved every penny she possibly could while she saved, clipped coupons and haggled prices is a woman with a million dollars in the bank. A woman who took a risk and started her own business and hustled and worked for her million dollars in the bank is a woman with a million dollars in the bank.

They both have a million dollars and they both got to that point honestly; so who cares how their journey to a million dollars went? On that note, we can’t help you land the high-paying job of your dreams, but we sure can help you earn a little bit of money by saving a little bit of money not paying for a few things in life. Do what you want with your own life, but think about how much more money you can have in the bank if you simply stop paying for these useless items.


You need a bank, but you don’t have to pay for a bank. Perhaps I’m jaded being married to my banker and all, but I haven’t had to pay for banking since we were engaged 13 years ago. I have paid no fees, no account services, nothing. For that reason, I typically don’t even think about banking fees as being something anyone has to deal with. It always takes me a moment to realize when someone is complaining about their banking fees that not everyone is married to a banker. Some people are married to doctors and attorneys and business owners. They pay bank fees. They should stop. Online banks want your business, and they often want it badly enough that they will offer you some seriously free checking – take advantage of that. You do not need to pay for someone to take your stuff and hold onto it for you. You really do not.

Credit Card Interest

If there was ever anything that we felt you should stop paying for right here and right now, it’s your credit card interest. I mean, honestly, you need to stop. It’s ridiculous that you would even bother with this at all. You can pay off your balance every single month so you can rack up rewards and all the good things and never have to pay useless interest charges. Here’s a thought; if you cannot afford to pay cash for it, do not buy it. This is one of those things that everyone can avoid, and it always blows my mind that they do not.

Late Fees

All right, so this one seems to make so much sense to me, yet it does not to other people. There is no reason we need to pay late fees, ever; write down when things are due and pay them in time to avoid those late fees. If you wait too long to pay for things that are due at a certain time, you’re going to incur late fees. Whether it’s that fee you pay to keep a Redbox movie for the kids for an extra day, or the fee you pay when you accidently mail something a day too late; stop that as it’s a waste of money. Create a calendar with your due dates, reminders and then set up automatic payments and alerts so that you can avoid late fees forever.

Cable Television

Stop it right now; I need my cable television so I can watch my three shows and Bubble Guppies on repeat 900 times a day. Or, maybe I do not. It turns out that every single thing I’ve ever watched on television is something I can stream online, through Netflix or through some other device. My husband says the second we can watch college football anywhere other than cable, we are cancelling.

ATM Fees

As the wife of a banker, I cannot tell you how frustrated the love of my life becomes when I hit up an ATM that is not ours. Granted, I do not have to pay the fees because they are waived for him, but still; he doesn’t love it. A little planning goes a long way, so consider that when you’re planning your finances for the week. Additionally, you can often avoid large ATM fees by going into a store, purchasing a $.99 pack of gum and getting cash back without paying a fee. That gum is a lot less expensive than that fee.

Rental Car Insurance

We used to pay for this all the time until some wise person (my dad) told me to stop. He said to check with our auto insurance and see if we are covered in a rental. We are; so we were paying hefty fees for nothing. Additionally, we also have coverage on our major credit card as a bonus, so we’re really wasting a lot of money that way.


I’m guilty of this one, and I’m not ashamed of it. Listen, I did not say you have to give up paying for all of these things. Just that you might consider no longer paying for these items. That is all. However, with libraries and free downloads and the ability to trade and borrow books from your friends and family makes it a little bit silly that you would pay for them in the first place. I download books all the time to my Kindle, so I’m guilty. However, I can trade off Kindles with my girlfriends and read one another’s books free of charge. I do that, too.

Credit Monitoring

Anyone who is paying for their credit score and to monitor their credit account is wasting time and money. You should never pay to see your score with the major credit bureaus offer you a free credit report every year. The good news for those of you panicking over the thought of only getting it once a  year, is that you get a free report from the three major credit bureaus once a year. Go ahead and stagger those and you’re looking at a free credit report every 4 months. There you go; winner.

Extended Warranties

Listen, everything I’ve ever purchased broke after my extended warranty was up. End of discussion, the story is over. There you go. But really, though, if you just use your major credit card to pay for things, you get an extended warranty through the card without actually paying more for it. Most reward cards do this, so you’re saving a bundle offering a polite, “No thank you,” when asked about that extended warranty.


Hold the phone; seriously? People pay for coupons? Sadly, yes; if you are one of them, stop it right now. You do not pay for coupons. They are designed to save you money, not ask you to fork over money instead. I’m not even going to delve any further into this one, either. Do not pay for coupons and do not make me tell you again, young lady.

Photo by Getty Images


Leave a Reply