5 Hidden Costs That Can Sneak Up on You!

Federal Employee Articles

5 Hidden Costs That Can Sneak Up on You!

Posted by Benchmark Financial Group, LLC
6 months ago | August 26, 2019

Living within your budget is the tried-and-true method for preventing excess debt, beefing up your savings, and even helping you transition into retirement more smoothly. But in some cases, extra charges can surprise you. Learn the sneaky insider secrets to common industries, so you can be on guard for unnecessary fees and extras next time you travel, eat out, or engage in various transactions.

Real estate strategies. Identify your budget before you go house shopping, and don’t even look at homes above that price point. Agents often tempt clients into purchases somewhat beyond their means, by showing the larger, fancier homes first. After looking at those, it’s hard to “settle” for something within your original price range.

Watch out for “negotiation fatigue” during the home buying process. Early in your search, you probably identified your values. But as negotiations drag on, many buyers are pressured to agree to terms they initially opposed, just to close the deal. Stick firmly to your terms if you don’t want to suffer buyer’s remorse.

Travel pricing. Many airlines use something called variable pricing, whereby ticket prices can increase if you search for flights more than once. This creates a sense of urgency and leads to quick purchases. If you want to take your time to compare prices, clear your cookies and browsing data, or shop in an incognito window.

Watch out, too, for add-ons to airline tickets. Many of these are not necessary, but add a considerable amount to the final price. And if you haven’t flown in a while, beware of on-flight “offers” that are purchases in disguise.

Restaurant secrets. Menu designers often list and describe dishes first, followed by prices in small print. The prices are hardly a secret, but this trick can tempt diners into over-spending their intended budget.

Extra items often come at an added charge, too, but your waiter may not mention that when he helpfully suggests that you add bacon to your potato.

Shopping tricks. The most expensive grocery items are typically placed at eye level, so take the time to look up and down before selecting a product from the shelf. Watch out for items near the cash registers; stores capitalize on your boredom while waiting in line, and place items with a high mark-up there.

Fishy cards. In most cases, department store cards simply aren’t worth the tempting “opening” offer (usually a percentage of that day’s purchase). The extremely high APR and high late fees cancel out any initial benefits.

Saving money is half the battle. Now that you’ve cleared some room in your budget, how can you use that extra cash to better prepare for retirement? Come see us, and we’ll sit down and chat about the strategies available to you.

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