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5 cheap purchases that cost you more in the long run

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 10:07 AM

Skimping on the following five purchases can end up costing you in the long run Trying to save a few dollars per light bulb doesn't pay off Cheap interior paints often require more coats than pricier paints and don't hold up as well over time You spend six to eight hours a day lying in bed so buying the cheapest model isn't a good idea A laptop is a purchase that's worth saving up for whenever possible Car insurance is one of those expenses where you don't want to skimp on coverage

Saving money often involves finding a way to pay less for something that you want or need. But sometimes the old adage about being "penny wise, pound foolish" applies, as the cheaper way out can end up costing you.

RELATED: Save money, stop fraud: 4 things to watch on your credit card statement

For certain purchases, spending more money up front can help you save in the long run.

Skimping on the following five purchases can end up costing you in the long run:

Lightbulbs are 25 cents each at the ReStore. Nicole Villalpando/American Statesman(American-Statesman Staff)

Lightbulbs

Trying to save a few dollars per lightbulb doesn't pay off, according to The Simple Dollar. When comparing incandescent bulbs, CFLs and LEDs, the site found that the approximate cost for each bulb was $1 for incandescents, $2 for CFLs and $8 for LEDs.

The savings for just one bulb over a 23-year period can be more than $150 if you switch to CFLs or LEDs. Multiplied by the number of bulbs in your home, this total becomes even more significant.

Exterior of small American house with blue paint and red entrance door.(irina88w/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Paint

If you're starting a home painting project, you may be tempted to pick up the cheapest paint you can find in a shade you like. According to Consumer Reports, that's a big mistake.

Their tests found that economy grades of both interior and exterior paints don't perform as well as their more expensive counterparts. Cheap interior paints often require more coats than pricier paints and don't hold up as well over time. Economy exterior paints also don't weather as well as more expensive paints made by the same brand.

RELATED: 5 items that are cheaper on Amazon

Mattresses

You spend six to eight hours a day lying in bed, so buying the cheapest model you can find isn't a good idea, according to Money.

Money recommends identifying what you don't like about your current mattress, trying many different types in stores by lying on each for a minute or two and being prepared to invest in one that suits your needs and preferences.

(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Laptops

A laptop is a purchase that's worth saving up for whenever possible, according to Business Insider. Otherwise, the site says, you're walking into "the tech equivalent of a minefield."

Inexpensive Windows laptops often aren't as fast as their more expensive counterparts, and they're usually bulky. You may also find a short battery life, clunky keyboard and lots of useless pre-installed programs that make your computer function even more poorly.

Car insurance

Car insurance is one of those expenses that you pay for again and again without a payoff for months or even years. While you should shop around to get a good deal, Consumer Reports warns against skimping on liability coverage.

This pays for bodily injury and property damage that you cause. If you buy only enough coverage to meet your state's mandated minimum requirements, you leave yourself open to extremely costly claims that could jeopardize your life's savings.

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New spam impacts some Gmail accounts

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 4:37 PM

A new form of spam is causing some computer experts to scratch their heads.  

Messages you didn’t send but appear to come from your Gmail account may wind up in your sent messages folder.

The trick lets the spammers bypass Gmail’s spam filters, according to Gizmodo.com.

This doesn’t mean your account has been compromised, in fact, the problem continues for some users who have changed their password, or use two-factor authentication, according to Cnet.com.  

News Center 7 consumer reporter Rachel Murray will be talking to a local tech expert to find out more about how this is happening and what you can do to protect your Gmail account.  

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Toddler toys, decorative pillows, and water bottles among the latest product recalls 

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 2:41 PM

Toddler toys, decorative pillows, and water bottles among the latest product recalls

Children’s xylophones, water bottles sold at Costco, and 21 styles of decorative pillows are among the latest recalls announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. 

The Petit Collage musical jumbo wooden xylophones made by Wild & Wolf are under recall because the ball on the end of the stick can detach and pose a choking hazard. 

There is one report of the ball separating and another report of a loose ball, but no injuries.

They were sold at Barnes & Noble, Urban Outfitters and other retailers.

Don’t let your child use the toy and contact Wild & Wolf at 855-215-5879 to receive a free replacement beater stick. 

Reduce Hydro Pro Water bottles are being recalled over lead paint. 

They were sold in two packs with a dog and lamb design printed on the outside.

No one has been hurt, but the pink paint on the outside of the bear bottles contain levels of toxic lead that exceed federal standards.

Don’t use the recalled bottles and contact Base Brands at 833-600-2887 or return them to place of purchase for a full refund or replacement bottle. 

Decorative pillows by Primark are being recalled because they may catch on fire. 

No one has been hurt, but don’t use the cushions which come in 21 shapes, sizes and colors, click here for full product codes and descriptions. 

Contact Primark at 855-215-5829 or return the pillows to the store for a full refund. 

One million Square D safety switches are under recall because the could shock or electrocute users, although no injuries have been reported.

The power may stay on when in the “OFF” position on several catalog numbers of the general duty switches made by Schneider Electric. 

Contact Schneider Electric at 877-672-1953 or click here to find out how to inspect the switch, receive free service support, and a replacement switch. 

Pressure washer surface cleaners by Briggs and Stratton are being recalled because  the spray bar can fly off and cause an injury. 

One person reported needing sutures on a cut to the knee after being struck by the bar.    There are four other reports of the bars detaching from the central hub. 

3000 PSI Briggs and Stratton and Crafsman branded surface cleaners are involved in the recall.

Stop using the cleaners and Contact Briggs and Stratton at 877-370-7505 to receive a free replacement. 

RELATED: Recent Recalls from CPSC 

Jo-Ann Stores are recalling string light sets which can break and cut you.

Two people have  been cut by the decorative glass jars in the Jo-Ann’s Makers Holiday 10-count LED string lights. 

Don’t use the lights and contact Jo-Ann stores at 888-739-4120 for a full refund. 

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Polaris is recalling Ranger XP recreational off-highway vehicles and Phoenix 200 all-terrain vehicles due to injury and crash concerns.

Multiple model numbers of the 2016 and 2017 Ranger XP ROVs have seat belt brackets that can separate from the frame. No injuries have been reported.

All model year 2014 through 2017 Phoenix ATVs are being recalled because of nine reports of a damaged throttle limiter, with one minor injury.

Stop using the ROVs and ATVs and contact Polaris at 800-765-2747 for a free repair.

For more on these and other recalls visit CPSC.gov.

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Local students learn how to combat scams, fraud

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 1:08 PM

Students in the Miami Valley are learning to recognize fraud and scams, and finding out how they can protect themselves from these potential money pitfalls.

Several schools in our area teach a free consumer life skills and financial literacy curriculum called FoolProof. 

The goal of the web-based, interactive coursework is to teach a healthy dose of skepticism in a scam-filled world.

Related: "Shimming” is the latest threat to shoppers

Kettering, Xenia, Franklin, Stebbins, Greenville and Lebanon high schools offer FoolProof classes.

News Center 7 consumer reporter Rachel Murray will find out more about what the students learn and what they can teach us about avoiding scams and fraud. 

Watch tonight on WHIO-TV at 5pm.

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Audit-proofing your taxes 

Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2018 @ 11:29 AM

Audit-proofing your taxes

First, the good news.  The IRS is auditing fewer taxpayers.  

In fact, audits are at an all-time low. You can’t completely audit-proof your tax returns, but there are ways to make your chance of an IRS investigation less likely. 
Failing to report taxable income and cryptocurrency income, are among Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s list of audit red flags.

Math errors, sizeable donations, home office deductions and deductions of unreimbursed business expenses, for example, commuting costs and clothing, are also going to raise eyebrows at the IRS.

RELATED: IRS ID theft prevention steps appear to be working

One of the biggest red flags is income.

The more money you make the more likely you’ll be scrutinized by the IRS, according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.  

If you make $200,00 or more, there is a one in 80 chance of an audit, and if you make more than $1 million your odds are one in 25, according to Clark Howard’s website, Clark.com.

News Center 7 consumer reporter Rachel Murray will have insight from a local tax preparer about ways to audit-proof your tax return tonight on WHIO-TV at 5.

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