Are you wasting your money? Do you spend it on things you don’t need while things that really need your monetary attention are ignored or forgotten?

You’re not alone. We all buy things we don’t need. If we didn’t, a lot of industries, including all the sports and entertainment worlds, would cease to exist. But you’re probably not going to give up however it is you watch TV or listen to music. So, what is there that you can cut out so you can invest it and retire a millionaire?

The website money

wise.com recently listed 10 things and while some make sense, others aren’t exactly what you’d call universal experiences. What are they?

1. New cars. I can speak from personal experience here. A few years ago, as I was a couple of years away from turning 50, I decided I wanted to, just one time, buy a car that wasn’t somebody else’s rejected junk. I’ve never been a huge car enthusiast, I’d owned a grand total of seven by the time I was 47, but I wanted that new car experience.

And I got it. It was fun. The car dealership treated me like a king. But I ended up not liking the car, and two years later I did it again. Traded in my two-year-old car for another brand new one. Got treated like a king again. I also got $2,000 less than for my trade-in than what I owed. They then tried to sell my old car for only $500 more than I got in the trade-in.

In other words, if I’d let somebody else buy that car, then trade it in, I could’ve gotten it for $8,000 less. Live and learn. I still wouldn’t have liked it though.

2. Premium gasoline. I know people who swear by premium gasoline, but the people who make cars say that unless you’re driving a Porsche or Lamborghini, you’re wasting your money. I don’t know. The cheap stuff has always worked fine for me. Apparently, we’re wasting $2 billion annually buying the type of gas we don’t need.

3. Rental car insurance. I’ve never rented a car in my life and I assume most of the people around here haven’t either. But Moneywise says it’s completely useless since you’ll have to use a credit card to rent one and 99.9 percent of credit cards automatically give you car renters insurance when you rent a car. So, there you go.

4. Name brand prescriptions. Anybody who’s ever had to deal with ongoing medication knows two things. One, name brand medicine costs way more than generic brands and two, your insurance company will make dang sure you get whatever’s cheapest.

5. Paper towels. Sure, we all know for a lot of stuff you can just use a regular towel and just wash the towel on a regular basis. But did you know there are re-usable paper towels? They’re called “Bambooee” and can be used and washed up to 100 times. I’d call that wasting money on cheap towels, but what do I know?

6. Lottery tickets. Pretty self explanatory. You’re not going to win. You might win something off a scratch off occasionally, maybe, but you’re not going to win. Seriously. You’re not going to win.

7. Unnecessary laundry products. According to Moneywise, all you really need is a high end detergent to keep your clothes looking fresh and new. No fabric softener or dryer sheets needed. And you can save even more by drying your clothes on a clothesline. If you’re a caveman.

8. A gym membership you don’t need. Never had one, but I do have exercise equipment that is threatening to turn me in for neglect.

9. Sale items. Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you need it. And if you put it on a credit card and don’t immediately pay it off, you’re not really saving anything.

10. Prepared food. They’re talking about buying food in a grocery store that you then just stick in an oven or microwave and wait for a ding. They suggest buying the ingredients and making the meal yourself. I’ll give you a minute to stop laughing.

So, there you have it. Ten ways to save enough money that you can retire comfortably at the age of 40. I don’t know about you, but I missed that by a long shot. Guess I’ll take my no longer new car to the store and buy a lottery ticket.

Hey, I said YOU wouldn’t win. I still got a chance.

P.S.: Just for myself, if you were one of the few but proud who enjoyed the entertainment reviews I used to write in the Sunday paper, I’m now writing them exclusively for our website www.advocateanddemocrat.com. I hope to have a new one there every Wednesday. If you don’t immediately see it, just search my name on the website. Hopefully it’ll pop up.

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