If you live in modern society (and if you don’t…I don’t know how you’re reading this), you’re no doubt aware that it’s easier to lose money than ever before. Not only are there plenty of things to spend money on, there are lots of crafty people trying to figure out how to separate you from your hard-earned cash. The situation is like one of those tourist squares near the airport in Europe. Hang around too long without paying attention, and somebody’s gonna pick your pocket. There are so many things to be aware of if you are an adult with any money at all. I’m only going to focus on 3, but please comment and leave other strategies you may be aware of.
One of the ways people like you and me pay too much is in taxes and fees. If you use one of the big Internet Service Providers, for instance, you can likely secure a lower subscription rate, simply by calling in and asking for one. Be willing to quit your contract if you don’t get what you want (or at least say that you’re going to), and you’ll likely be able to get a lowered rate. It’s a funny thing about services like these, they’re negotiable. It’s one reason why people hate the ISPs. Often, they’re charging what they can, not what they should. And you should make sure they’re not charging you too much.
The same holds true for credit. This isn’t as much of a problem in the United States, but for British readers, PPI is probably a very familiar acronym. PPI is a kind of insurance that got pinned on to lots and lots and lots of credit plans. But the courts are determining that this was done fraudulently in many cases, and people are suing to get their money back. It’s really easy to become part of a class-action lawsuit, using the services of a law firm that specializes in these matters. You can get your payments reduced and even see significant money returned to you, usually over and above what you actually paid out.
There are plenty of places in life where you’re probably paying more than you need to be. In cities, for instance, it’s very common for municipalities to determine property taxes in very, shall we say, laid back ways. The value of homes in big areas will be averaged together, and your house might be given a tax based on the value of much more valuable homes. If this is the case, you’ll have to do a little homework, getting your home reassessed and having its real value presented to the city tax service. But if this saves you hundreds or more year, this is certainly worth your time, as this will carry over year after year. Cities don’t mind charging you a little too much for stuff like this, so do the work to make sure they’re not taking too much.
It takes a little practice to spot these kind of overpayments. But once you learn to find them, you’ll start to enjoy kicking these suckers out of your wallet.