Are self-storage units really worth the cost?


If the popular A&E show "Storage Wars" is any indication, people put a lot of stuff in self-storage units.

Many of those people assume it saves them money in the long run.

But as Newsy's partners at WCPO found, it might be more costly than you think.

The station reports a 10-by-15-foot storage unit costs $120 per month on average.

That adds up to over $1,400 a year.

Must-know money-saving tips:

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5. 5 unnecessary tech purchases that cost you money

When you're building a budget, the first thing to look at is non-essentials you can cut. Music, movies, books, apps and other bits of entertainment often fall into that category. However, you might not want to give them up.

The good news is that you don't have to. You can get all of these things for free if you know where to look. Learn how to get these for free, and more tech purchases you might be making that you don't have to.

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4. 3 things you're almost guaranteed better deals online 

When online shopping first started, it was a bonanza for saving money. Online stores didn't have to deal with sales tax, a large chunk of typical retail overhead and you could usually find a free shipping offer somewhere.

In recent years, however, brick-and-mortar retailers have evened the odds with price matching and other savings. So you still want to check both for deals before you buy something. However, there are three things you might buy that are almost always going to be less expensive online. Find out what they are and some good sites to find great deals.

(Alamy)

3. 3 secrets to dramatically lower your cable bill

When you're trying to cut non-essentials, your cable bill probably doesn't spring immediately to mind. Even though it's a huge expense every month, many people can't imagine going without their favorite shows.

Just because you're keeping cable, though, doesn't mean you should keep paying full price. Learn three secrets you can use to save big money on your cable bill, plus some cheaper cable alternatives you should consider.

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2. Test whether your ISP is slowing down your connection

Your Internet connection lets you check Facebook, send email, browse the Internet, watch online video, play online games and connects you to the single largest source of information in history. You need it to be fast, and you probably pay a hefty amount to get an Internet plan with decent speed.

But are you actually getting the speed you paid for? If you aren't, then you're just wasting money every month. Find out how fast your connection really is so you know your money is well spent.

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1. 3 secrets to getting the lowest airfare online

One of the biggest travel expenses is the airfare. Even worse, every dollar you're spending on getting to and from your destination is money you can't spend enjoying yourself while you're there. So, finding a cheap flight is definitely something to shoot for.

Fortunately, getting a great deal is easier than you think. You just need to know what sites to use, when to buy and the value of flexibility. Get the full details so you can save big on your next trip.

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SEE MORE: Health Costs ​Could Hinge On Where — Not How — You Die

That doesn't include taxes or extra insurance costs.

And climate-controlled units for anything valuable — like collectibles, books and furniture — are even more expensive.

But, alas, renting a place to put your stuff is sometimes a necessary evil, especially when you're moving and need a temporary spot for your belongings. So, what's the best way to go about it?

Consumer Reports suggests getting rid of things you don't need.

One organizing consultant told the magazine, "If an item doesn't spark joy, get rid of it."

But you don't have to throw everything away. WCPO suggests having a yard sale or storing some smaller items that you really need at home.

Here's another strategy. Put all of your clothes in a box for a year. If you need something, remove it from the box. After a year passes, see what's still inside and donate what you haven't used.


RELATED: Money-saving online shopping tips
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1. Clear your browser history

Some retailers might sneakily increase prices based on your browsing patterns and demand - so make sure to always clear your history and cookies before shopping! 

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2. Use an alternate email address

When you log in to a retailer's site with a new email address, retailers will often welcome you as a new customer with exciting new promotions and discounts. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

3. Note price changes throughout the week

Another pro tip: Prices and deals can fluctuate based on the day of the week. For instance, if you're purchasing a flight, monitor prices for around a week to see if they take a dip on any particular day before purchasing. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

4. Let items linger in your cart

Here's a hack: Add items to your cart, but let them sit for 24 hours before purchasing. The retailer might attempt to lure you back with additional discounts.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

5. Check out multiple sites

Do some research! Don't settle for the first price you see - poke around on a search engine and find the best deal. 

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6. Bargain with customer service

Use customer service to your advantage. If you ask (politely!) about an expired coupon, you'll often find yourself pleasantly surprised by an extension or new code! 

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7. Don't purchase impulsively

Try this shopping hack - don't buy that shiny, new toy right away. Step away for a few hours, and if you find yourself itching to go back and click 'purchase', then you know you won't regret your investment!

Photo credit: FogStock

8. Avoid shipping fees

Take advantage of free shipping! If you are a few dollars below the free shipping price point, add a low-cost filler item you need anyway (like socks!) and make the math work out in your favor. 

Photo credit: Alamy

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