Just in case you might not be a millionaire post RV or just in case you might want to help the younger generation taking on more responsibilities this article may help with some sound logical things to think about --
10 Things That Make You Poorer By Liz Weston, MSN Money
Some purchases keep costing you over a lifetime of use; others may have been a bad idea to begin with. Here's what to know to minimize unplanned spending.
Everything you buy makes you poorer, in a sense. But some things have hidden costs that can lead you to shell out far more than you'd expected. Sometimes those continuing expenses are so high that you'll curse the day you first opened your wallet.
Not all of these products should be avoided, but forewarned is forearmed: If you have any of these in your life, they may cost you big time.
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A smartphone will change your life. Once you have one, you'll wonder how you ever managed without it.
The maps and GPS navigation show you where to go. The camera and video functions allow you to document your life along the way. The games and music players mean you never have to be bored if there's downtime.
And the darn thing will cost you a small fortune.
It's not just that smartphones are more expensive than other cells, even with the heavy subsidization wireless carriers offer to get you to sign a contract. The data plan typically costs $30 a month, although heavy users can spend more than $100. The apps can add up, a few bucks at a time.
But the real danger is how easy these phones make it to shop. Install a retailer's app, like Amazon.com's, and you can buy anywhere, anytime. Wireless carriers also want to turn our phones into wallets, so we won't even have to reach into our pockets for our plastic anymore. The whole goal of these "frictionless transactions" is to get you to spend more.
That doesn't mean you have to give up your precious smartphone. You just have to be aware of the vast conspiracy to get you to spend, and fight back. You can use the phone's technology to do so if you:
Get your bank's app so you can easily check your balance (or just call the bank's toll-free number).
Thwart impulse purchases by taking a picture of the desired item and giving yourself a cooling-off period (three days usually works).
Use price-check apps such as PriceGrabber and ShopSavvy to make sure you're not paying too much.
We howl about high prices at the pump. But gas is just a fraction of what we pay for driving.
The costs of buying, financing, insuring, maintaining and repairing our vehicles -- in addition to fuel costs and depreciation -- average nearly $9,000 a year for a medium-size sedan and more than $11,000 for an SUV, according to the most recent driving-costs survey by AAA. If you get your first car at 18 and drive until you're 78, that means you'll pay more than half a million bucks in today's dollars for the privilege.
You can pay a whole lot more than that astronomical sum if you buy luxury cars or trade in your vehicle for a new one every couple of years.
You may not be able to do without a car, so the trick to saving money is having fewer cars -- and taking better care of them. You can dramatically reduce your finance and insurance costs by owning each vehicle for at least 10 years (assuming you pay cash or finance for five years or less). With proper maintenance, today's cars can last well past 200,000 miles. Buying slightly used cars also can reduce costs.
Driving costs, 2012
Small sedan Medium sedan Large sedan SUV (4-wheel-drive) Minivan
Cost per mile 44.9 cents 58.5 cents 75.5 cents 75.7 cents 63.4 Annual cost $6,735 $8,780 $11,324 $11,360 $9,504
Source: AAA; based on driving 15,000 miles annually
Calculator: How much car can you afford?
Man paying bills © Jose Luis Pelaez/Blend Images/Getty Images
Like smartphones, credit cards offer convenience. You get some great perks, including fraud protection and a third party to help with any merchant disputes. Most cards offer rewards programs that can give you free travel or cash back in return for your spending.
But like smartphones, credit cards can cost you big time if you're not careful.
Failing to pay your balances in full every month is the biggest mistake, because the average credit card interest rate hovers around 16%, according to Bankrate.com. You'll likely pay more if your credit scores aren't great.
Even worse than carrying a balance is paying only the minimum required. If your minimum is around 2%, you could wind up paying more than $6,000 in interest on a $5,000 debt -- and it would take you more than 22 years to pay it off.
If you have credit card debt and take comfort in the idea that everyone else does, too, think again. Fewer households carry credit card debt these days. In 2010, only 39% of U.S. households carried a credit card balance, and the median amount owed was $2,600, according to the Federal Reserve. That's down from 45% of households that owed a balance in 2007, with a median amount owed of $3,500. The Fed said the decrease in credit card debt between 2007 and 2010 "was widespread and noticeable across most of the demographic groups," the exceptions being households headed by people ages 75 and older and those headed by someone with no high school diploma.
Calculator: When will your credit cards be paid off?
Couple and dog on rental furniture © John Fedele/Blend Images/ The Agency Collection/Getty Images
Rent-to-own outfits ranked fourth in the my column "5 businesses that rip off the poor" because of their egregiously high costs. If you truly do rent to own and make every payment, whatever you buy will cost you two to four times what you would have paid in a regular store.
Of course, most rent-to-own customers can't buy what they want in regular stores, because they don't have the cash or the credit. Still, if you want nice things, you have other, better options. With a little persistence and patience, you can find similar, barely used items for a fraction of their cost new on eBay or Craigslist, or at garage sales.
Video: Costly rent-to-own deals
Money market funds
The average paid on a money market account has inched up a bit, to just under 0.5%. But with inflation at 1.7%, you're losing ground every day your cash languishes in a money market account.
Plus you run the risk, however slight, of losing a bit of your principal.
Money market mutual funds are not FDIC-insured, and former U.S. bank regulator Sheila Bair has warned the market needs more reforms to prevent fund providers from "breaking the buck," or returning less than people invested.
If you've earmarked this money for retirement, it should be invested in something that can offer better returns over time. If you're an investment newbie, consider a lifestyle or target-date maturity fund.
If this money is your emergency fund, on the other hand, or you'll need to access the funds within a couple of years, you'll need to keep it relatively liquid. Consider an online, FDIC-insured savings account or certificates of deposit with different maturities.
The lower your income, the more likely you are to buy lottery tickets (.pdf file). It's a classic poverty trap, where the money you spend trying to improve your situation instead just makes you poorer.
You've heard how high the odds are stacked against you.
You're far more likely to be hit by lightning, die of flesh-eating bacteria or become a movie star than you are to win a lottery.
There's not much harm in buying the occasional ticket, unless you're doing so in lieu of saving for retirement. If you find yourself playing compulsively, check out Gamblers Anonymous. It's free.
Video: Improve your odds of winning the lottery
Smokers typically earn less, pay more for insurance and shell out more for health care. And then there's the cost of the cigarettes themselves.
If you're a smoker, you're paying about $2,000 a year for a pack-a-day habit.
If you invested $2,000 a year between ages 18 and 68, you'd end up with more than $1 million (at an assumed annual growth rate of 8%). Plus you'd likely have more years to enjoy that money in retirement, since you probably wouldn't die early of some horrible lung disease.
Television watching is associated with obesity. The more you watch, the fatter you tend to be. Obesity is, in turn, associated with lower incomes for white and black women (although not in men or women of other races, interestingly).
Television picks your pocket far more directly, of course.
Pay television now costs Americans an average $83 a month, according to research firm NDP Group, and we're projected to pay $123 a month by 2015.
You don't pay just once. Most television is supported by advertising. Most advertising is bent on getting you to buy stuff you don't need and didn't even know you wanted until you saw the advertisements. If it didn't work, companies wouldn't spend billions of dollars doing it.
Save some money. Pull the plug
To be truly valuable, a collectible must be relatively rare, in good condition -- and greatly desired by others. Copies of the first Superman comic book have sold for seven digits because a) Superman is still popular and b) so many mothers threw out so many geeks' comic book collections.
The vast majority of figurines, plates, toys and other items produced as "collectibles" aren't investments. They typically have limited appeal, and mass production ensures the supply will outstrip any future demand. That means if you try to sell them, you'll get only a fraction of what you paid -- assuming there are any takers.
If your collection is purely for your own personal pleasure and you aren't going into debt to support your habit, then have at it. If you're ever tempted to buy a collectible because you think it will be valuable later, head over to eBay and search for "Beanie Babies," "Hummel figurines" or "Franklin Mint" anything. That should cure the urge
Even after the housing bust, homeownership is still associated with wealth. The median net worth of homeowners was $174,000 in 2010, according to the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances, compared with $5,100 for renters.
Homeowners can benefit from the forced savings of paying down a mortgage over time, as well as price appreciation (remember that?) over time. A majority of American households are homeowners, and many that aren't want to be.
But homeownership is usually expensive, and the unexpected costs can swamp the finances of people who aren't prepared. In addition to the mortgage, insurance and property taxes, you'll pay for:
Maintenance and repairs. These costs can vary a lot, but expect to spend 1% to 2% of the home's value each year just fighting entropy.
Updates. You don't have to be an HGTV addict to spend a lot updating your home. After all, just about everything in a house can wear out and need replacement: roofs, furnaces, air conditioning and surfaces (including countertops and floors).
Disasters. Homeowners insurance typically doesn't cover floods or earthquakes and may not cover hurricanes. You'll typically need to buy separate policies that usually come with higher deductibles. And some hazards are uninsurable. You can't get coverage for landslides, nuclear disasters or acts of war. Neglect isn't covered either: If you ignore a water leak or a termite infestation and your roof caves in, you'll have to fix it on your own dime.
So before you buy a home, do your best to make sure you can afford it. That means getting appropriate insurance and setting up a savings account to pay for the inevitable extra costs.
Video: Should you do it yourself or hire help?