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Save Money not falling for these April Fools Jokes

Updated on March 30, 2013

During a holiday that appreciates jokes, and fooling others, I want to point out some common money pranks we constantly fall for.


Trading your car in for a new one with better gas mileage

Many people will justify buying a new car because the gas mileage is better. They will say "I am saving money because I will not need to fill up as much." Unless the difference in your higher monthly payment is less than what you now pay in gas, it will never add up to savings. If you go from 20 mpg to 40 mpg, sure you spend half as much on gas, but unless that amount you are saving is more than the increased cost of your new car(which you should be factoring in not only loan payment but insurance, tabs, and registration) the joke will be on you.

Going shopping with coupons or deals saves you money

We have all gone shopping simply because we had a coupon or we knew of a deal happening at a store. We think we are saving money by taking advantage of such an amazing deal. Here is where I will reveal the process of this trick. You are still spending money. You may spend less money, but unless you were already planning on buying the product before the coupon or deal, you are simply spending less, than actually saving. Plus, if you go shopping, chances are you may go to other stores and purchase more items you were not planning on buying. Not to mention the time, gas and other expenses you may incur during your trip.

Mortgages

Over the years the American dream has involved owning a house. It is the smart decision society says because we build equity. But let’s look at the majority of home owners and their house buying habits. We buy a house and begin a 30 year payback schedule. But most of us will move within those 30 years, and most of those moves will be to a bigger and more expensive house, meaning an increase in our mortgage. This cycle may happen many times, so do you really gain anything, or is it a joke being played on you?

“Good debt”

You will hear the term “good debt” in respects to a mortgage or college loans as examples. What the experts mean by this is that the debt you inherit from a college education will be justified by a higher income, or a mortgage is good debt because you are building equity. I’m h telling you that when you start paying it back, debt is debt. You are still bound, your money is still already earmarked for your debtors. The best debt is no debt.

Warranties

Whether it’s your cell phone, TV or furniture, you may have the option to purchase a warranty with your new product. Most warranties only offer replacement after paying a deductible, and may only last a year. Make sure you understand what the warranty covers, the length of it and other terms surrounding this up sell. If you do not do your homework, you may be part of a prank.

Buying in bulk

Usually buying in bulk can save money, but make sure you are buying the right products in bulk. Items that do not expire can save you money, along with items you use often and fast can save multiple trips out. Be careful buying fruits and vegetables in bulk, as it may be tough to use all of them before they expire.

Automation is always better- when paying bills and saving, automation is a great tool to keep you on track. But when you automate expenses like gym memberships, magazine subscriptions and the like, automation can get expensive. If you can help it, have such costs mailed to you so you know where your money is going. Automation can lead to forgetting, and those monthly expenses for something you no longer use can be a costly prank.

Life insurance

This subject can make most people’s brain hurt. Whole or term? How much? Which company? If you are not careful, you can feel punked. Either by purchasing the wrong plan or amount, or not having it do what you thought I would do when it is actually needed can create frustration. Do your homework, understand all your options, and talk to friends so you can make the right decision for you and your family. There is no one size fits all plan, so be wary when you read that term is better, or whole should not be used for an investment. Get educated, and plan accordingly.

Investing when the market is hot

This area of finance continues to baffle me. Any other product or store, we buy when the price is decreased by a sale or coupon. Investments such as stocks on the other hand, we buy more when the price goes higher and higher. The best method is to invest a set amount each week or month. This method, called dollar cost averaging, will help you take advantage of lows, and keep you investing steadily, averaging out the cost of your investment, and keeping you away from the deadly emotional side of investing.


As you celebrate easily the most humorous of holidays, keep these money pranks in mind.

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