Imagine this scenario: you think you found a great price on your airline ticket. You did everything right: you used the most efficient online airline search site, you skipped the priority boarding fee (who needs to be the first one on the plane, anyway?), and you passed on the extra-comfort/extra-legroom seats. Unfortunately, what you didn’t account for were sneaky airline fees that include everything from baggage to pets. While there’s not much you can do to completely avoid those fees, being aware and budgeting for higher prices will eliminate some of your frustration.
Pre-packaged and Pre-cut Food
Let’s be honest, cutting up assorted fruit and vegetables is as fun as organizing your pantry or paying your monthly bills. That’s why grocery stores have an assortment of colorful, enticing pre-cut produce intended to entice you away from the much less expensive option of doing it yourself. If money is no object, then pre-cut fruit and vegetables are a welcome time-saver. But if you want to spend about half the price, then just sharpen the knife and do it yourself.
When you’re buying an expensive item like a car or appliance, an extended warranty sounds like a small price to pay for the security of knowing that unexpected and costly repairs will be covered. However, most of the time, it’s simply not worth it. Many repairs are excluded (it’s in the fine print), and some warranties start at the same time as the regular manufacturer’s warranty, making the extended warranty mostly obsolete.
Forgotten or Unused Subscriptions
You know that Sports Illustrated you keep receiving but it just ends up in a stack on your desk? How about the recurring charges for services you don’t even remember subscribing to? Remember those free trials you signed up for without reading the fine print about automatic membership and renewals? Imagine how many subscriptions you have that you don’t even know about! Monthly subscriptions cost consumers hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars per year. It may sound overwhelming to track your subscriptions, but there are tools in place on your device and third-party platforms that can help any consumer track most of their subscriptions.
If you knew how much you were paying in bank fees every year, you might be very surprised. Americans pay an average of $329 annually and most people don’t even realize it. Checking account maintenance, overdraft charges, ATM fees are a $33 billion industry but they’re also every consumer’s worst nightmare. Be aware and stop losing your hard-earned money on hidden fees.