Less Obvious Fees That May Be Costing You Big Bucks

Jun 22, 2021 Personal Finances

Avoid additional fees on common items to save money in the long run.

A man looking through a stack of receipts while sitting at a table.

Did you know that you may be spending as much as $450 a year in overdraft fees?

According to a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), consumers who opt in for overdraft protection (and frequently need it) are subject to per-use fees of around $34, which add up over time.

While the CFPB is trying to make the fees more transparent, overdraft protection is just one example of common charges that can sneak up on you if you’re not careful.

Phone Company Fees

Have you ever studied the list of fees on your phone or Internet bill and wondered, “What’s that?” While many telecommunication fees are advertised when you sign up for service, companies can later add fees without notifying you.

So-called “mobility administrative” charges may be added to your bill, raising your monthly costs incrementally. Make sure you review your bill periodically, and contact your provider if you see any questionable or new charges.

New-car Fees

It’s not uncommon for car dealers to add a few fees at the last minute during a purchase. Reportedly, this can raise the cost of the car by several thousand dollars.

Remember, if you’re negotiating with the dealer, make sure to ask up front about fees that cover things like documentation and dealer-preparation services. It’s a little extra work for you, but avoiding expensive surprises at the end of a negotiation is worth it.

Resort Fees

Many hotels sneak a resort fee into the final bill for your stay. The worst part? They’re not always advertised and are generally unavoidable.

The next time you book your vacation, contact the hotel before you finalize your purchase and ask for the total cost of the stay. You may even specify that you want to know if there’s a resort fee, just to be on the safe side.

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