After leaving home over 20 years ago, I guess I can consider myself an adult at this point. Here are some lessons I have learned:
Multi blade ‘fancy’ razors. They cost way way too much and don’t shave any better. Go online and get a double edged safety razor and blades. The blades cost about 15 cents each and last just as long. You may have to relearn shaving, but about about two or three shaves, you will actually prefer them.
“Service” plans. All these plans do is make money for the store selling them. With the exception of fine jewellery rings, they are a complete waste. In 21 years of buying electronics, I have had ONE device fail that would of been covered by a service plan. The item cost about $80. I figure I have said no to about $10,000 in service plans. No way in hell is there any way I would of recouped any of that cost.
Paying more than 0.9% for an auto loan. If you have good credit, you should pay 0 or close to 0%. Anything more, look for another dealer.
Cleaning your apartment when you move. Don’t bother, they will always find something wrong and get some or all of your deposit. Just leave it, they will have a professional crew come in an clean it anyway.
Mortgage brokers. They are not in your best interest and are generally just schmucks. Go directly to your bank. A lot less paperwork and you will get a competitive rate.
Eating out. It is a good treat to reward yourself, but monetarily and health wise, you would do much better to head to the local grocery store. You can save thousands of dollars a year (and a lot of health issues) learning to cook and eat at home.
“Luxury” watches and jewellery. I am a collector of watches. If you go into a store and they call them ‘timepieces’ be prepared to be separated from a lot of money. Only Rolex has the gall to charge $6,000 for a steel, three handed watch, with no date. If you want to be cheap, stick with Timex. If you want something to last AND look good for
decades, go with Seiko. With jewellery, ignore the sale price percentages and really ask yourself, is it really worth how much they are charging?
Speciality household cleaners. Turns out that you really only need about 3 cleaners; Perfume and dye free dish detergent. Used for cleaning just about everything, including the sink, toilet, even your hands. Works great. All purpose cleaner than can clean glass. Does just about everything else. And, finally vinegar and baking soda, for the really hard stains. That is all you need.
Non powder laundry and dishwasher detergent. Powder is cheaper, leaves less residue and is much ecologically friendly than liquids or convenience packs. Try it, you will be amazed how much you save and how well they work.
Buying the cheapest or ‘best’ of anything. If you buy the cheapest, expect it to break and you have to replace it way too often. A complete waste of time and money. Buying the best will cost you a lot also. With every product there is a price versus quality curve. This generally follows a bell curve and means you can pay 10 times more for an item, and it will only be twice the quality of the lesser priced item. Use common sense on this one.
HP/Compaq computers. Don’t be lured by the cheap prices versus features. They are built like junk and are loaded with bloatware.
Expensive wines. They all taste the same after about $20 a bottle, or even worse if they are improperly stored. I’ll take a properly stored $5 California wine before a $200 improperly stored French wine. A corked bottle of wine is horrible at any price.
Overpriced kitchen knives. A $400 knife cuts about the same as a $15 one. Pick the ones that work the best with your hands and cutting style.
If you can think of any more, drop me a line in the comments section.