If you pay your bills each month without looking at the individual charges, or make purchases without reading the fine print, you might be paying extra for additional (or hidden) fees. Even if your bills are automated, it’s beneficial to take a look at them now and then to make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for. By taking a close look at all of your fees and charges the next time you pay for something, you’ll know exactly where your money is going. Depending on the extra fees, you may either want to shop around for a different product or service, or there might be an error that you need to fix.
The following are some common hidden fees to be aware of:
Finding a bargain online is great, but it may not be that good of a deal once the shipping costs are added in. It can be easy to overlook a high shipping cost when you’re excited about the sale price; this can be especially easy to overlook on auction sites like eBay, where shipping fees may not be as obvious. Before deciding which online vendor to purchase from, don’t just look at the sale price, but consider the final price. You may discover that the same item is actually cheaper on another site because of the free shipping, even if the item isn’t on sale. You’ll also want to search the web for coupon codes before placing your order, which can offer you discounted or free shipping.
Credit card charges
If you don’t carefully check your credit card statement each month, you may be paying for credit card charges that you aren’t even aware of. Whether it’s fraudulent charges, errors, or subscriptions to services that you thought you canceled, or didn’t even realize you signed up for, you might be paying for something you don’t have to. In fact, approximately 35 percent of consumers pay for credit card charges that they don’t even realize they’re paying.
An amazing travel deal isn’t so amazing if there are a whole bunch of extra fees tacked on. For example, you might find a terrific deal on airfare with an airline that offers much lower prices than its competitors. But then you may discover after you get to the airport that you have to pay a lot of extra fees, such as baggage fees. Some airlines are now charging extra for carry-on baggage on top of checked luggage. Be sure to look carefully through the airline’s website to find out about potential fees, and compare the costs of all airlines that fly to the destination you’re visiting. It may be tempting to just book the cheapest ticket, but another airline might fly the same route and schedule for a higher price. Even if the price is a bit more, that airline might not impose the same fees that the budget airline does, and you’ll likely have a better flying experience overall. There are also hidden fees to be aware of when it comes to hotels and cruises. Cruises often impose port fees and taxes on top of the booking price, and hotels sometimes impose daily resort fees, regardless of whether you use their public facilities.
Do you know what exactly you’re paying for each month with your current cell phone plan? You may be paying for features you don’t need and data that you don’t come close to using. If you hardly ever text, for example, you’ll want to carefully go through your bill to make sure it doesn’t include extra fees for unlimited texting. On the other hand, you might be using your cell phone more than your current plan allows, which can result in overage fees. Instead of paying these costly fees, consider upgrading your plan, which in turn will help you to save money.