7 Everyday Rip-Offs That Are Surprisingly Easy to Avoid

1. Checked baggage.
While most airlines have decided to fall in line with each other and charge for your checked luggage a few have remained “old school” and allow you to check one bag free of charge so do your homework. If the airline you need to fly charges then consider where you’re going. Are you visiting a family member? Would it be cheaper to send your things UPS than pay twice as checked luggage? If it’s a short trip can you manage to cram what you need into your carry on instead? If you’re the type to check out every travel site for the cheapest tickets then you have the ability to go that one step further and save money on that checked baggage.

2. College textbooks
There is no more ridiculous price gouging than college textbooks. Paying hundreds of dollars for a book you’ll use for a just a few weeks should be a crime. But, until that day comes the best way to save a lot of money is use that brain of yours and search for the same book(s) you need at used book stores or websites. If you can’t find used books then perhaps you can make sure to sign up for the same class with friends or roommates you trust who will share the cost and the book with you.

3. Movie Theater Snacks
Yes, we all know that movie theaters make the majority of their money from the snack bar. But there is no reason that 15 cents worth of popcorn should cost you 7 bucks. None. If you insist on eating at the theater instead of before to save yourself money then at least bring your own snacks. Large chain stores sells those giant sized goodies for a fraction of the prices that theaters sell them for so use those purses and pockets and save yourself some money.

4. Scam Emails
If you have an email address then you get scam emails. You are not going to win the lottery or have a lawyer for a dead relative you didn’t know notify you through your email. Do not ever under any circumstance open those emails let alone respond to them. If you are just so curious that you can’t help yourself then at least promise yourself that you will never, ever, ever give out your personal information to some unknown stranger over the internet. Nothing good can come from telling someone information that only you and the government should know.

5. Gas
About now everyone knows that gas prices not only fluctuate during travel seasons but also by location. So choose your travel times and locations carefully. Stations nearest the freeway or highway usually charge more than stations in town. Large chain stores and club stores that have gas usually charge less than the local stations as well. If you’re the sort who carries a gas card then know you’ll save per gallon when you use it to purchase your gas from their stations. Gas already takes enough of your annual income so don’t let it nickel and dime you into the poor house too.

6. Automobiles
When the time comes to replace that car or truck don’t buy new. It matters not how much of a discount they offer you with rebates and deals. Buy used. If you don’t have the money to buy from a private seller then at least spend your time at the car lot looking at the used vehicles. Buying a vehicle that is just a year or two old can save you thousands. If you spend the time to find one you want with low mileage it will most likely still have its original warranty as well. Even purchasing the extended warranty on a used vehicle is cheaper than buying new. So take your time and make wise choices and you’ll save thousands of dollars.

7. Tourist/Traveler traps
Hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops are the best place to leave money you didn’t need to spend. If you take your time and shop around on the internet for cheap hotel rates you can save a lot of money when traveling. Likewise if you research locally owned eateries that the locals rave about you’ll spend less. And forget souvenir shops altogether. I had a friend bring me a gift from Florida once. She paid 12 bucks for a little bag with some sand and sea shells in it. A Ziploc bag and a handful of what she walked on at the beach would have been free.

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