Mapping The Hidden Costs Of Living In The Suburbs

Mapping The Hidden Costs Of Living In The Suburbs

Living in the city seems much more expensive than the suburbs, until you consider transportation costs. Good points us to a new tool from The Center for Neighborhood Technology that maps the percentage of income various areas spend on transportation and housing combined. Turns out living in the suburbs can be less cost effective.

Something to research when you’re thinking of moving. [More]

Prepaid Debit Cards Are Money Sucking Black Holes In Your Pocket

Prepaid Debit Cards Are Money Sucking Black Holes In Your Pocket

Be very careful about activating any sort of over-the-counter prepaid debit card, reports the New York Times. They looked at a handful of prepaids currently on the market and discovered ridiculously high hidden fees—the first two months of use can cost you up to $80.

Congratulations Americans, We Pay The Most For Cellphone Service

Congratulations Americans, We Pay The Most For Cellphone Service

A new survey from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) compared annual costs around the world for consumers who have cellphones, and the U.S. is in the top three for most expensive. How expensive? DSLReports notes that “on average, the OECD found that Americans pay $635.85 on cell phone service, compared to $131.44 per year in the Netherlands or $137.94 per year in Sweden.”

New Website Compares Healthcare Prices

New Website Compares Healthcare Prices

Healthcare Blue Book, a new for-profit website, allows prospective patients to find “fair prices” on surgery, hospital stays, doctor visits, and medical procedures. The audience here is people who either don’t have insurance, have a high deductible, or are considering medical treatments that their insurer won’t cover.

Want To Raise A Kid? You'll Need $300k

Want To Raise A Kid? You'll Need $300k

The new government estimates are out on child rearing, and now “a middle-income family can expect to spend $291,570 including inflation to raise a child born in 2008 to adulthood” (not including childbirth or college), reports Reuters. In today’s dollars, it works out to between $11,000 and $13,000 annually. If you’re planning on having a family in the future, here’s another incentive to get your financial house in order first—take control of your debts and spending, learn how to budget, and start saving. You’re going to need it, unless you can score a reality show on basic cable.

Need An Ambulance? If You're Overweight, It's Going To Cost An Extra $543

Need An Ambulance? If You're Overweight, It's Going To Cost An Extra $543

An ambulance ride with American Medical Response in Topeka, Kansas will soon cost an extra $543 for folks weighing 350 pounds or more. Though AMR already owns cots that can support up to 500 pounds, they claim that because of rising demand from so-called “bariatric patients,” they now need to buy winches and “extra large and reinforced cots.”

Let Supermarkets Help You Save Money

Let Supermarkets Help You Save Money

Consumer Reports is gearing up to release their supermarket ratings, but the preliminary results show that supermarkets are trying to help consumers by extending sales and rewarding loyalty. Inside, six ways to save a few bucks next time you fill up your shopping cart.

3 Ways To Cut Baby Costs Without Feeling Like A Terrible Parent

3 Ways To Cut Baby Costs Without Feeling Like A Terrible Parent

Our sister publication Consumer Reports knows that you’d like to trim your baby budget without risking the safety of said baby, so they’ve put together 3 tips that will help you do just that.

Verizon Isn't Really Sure How Much Their DSL Service Costs

Verizon Isn't Really Sure How Much Their DSL Service Costs

Brian begged and pleaded but Verizon simply wouldn’t tell him how much his DSL would cost after taxes and fees, unless he signed a one-year contract. The customer service representatives staffing Verizon’s operation centers claimed that it was too difficult to figure out all that math nonsense for every jurisdiction. When Brian pushed and insisted that surely they had to know how much their service cost, he was told that “there wasn’t anyone in Verizon that knew the answer.”

USPS Wants To Cut Back To Five-Day Work Week

USPS Wants To Cut Back To Five-Day Work Week

A $3 billion deficit and expected losses of $6 billion more have led the Postmaster General to suggest cutting mail delivery from six to five days.

Find Out Where Your Money Goes When You Buy Gas

Find Out Where Your Money Goes When You Buy Gas

Want to know where your fifties go when you fill up your car with gas? GOOD’s latest chart breaks down the assorted costs, and compares them with other places around the globe. You can grab a free printed copy at any Starbucks, or go here to check it out in bright RGB goodness.

Medicare Costs Going Up In 2009, So Be Ready To Compare Plans

Medicare Costs Going Up In 2009, So Be Ready To Compare Plans

If there’s one group of Americans who don’t carry their weight and need to pay more money to the healthcare industry, it’s those layabout senior citizens! That’s why their Medicare drug premiums are increasing by an average of 31% for the 10 most popular plans beginning in 2009. If you were with Humana, formerly the cheapest Medicare drug plan you could get (its premium was $9.51 in 2006), you can expect to pay $40.83 per month in 2009, an increase of 60% over this year’s rate. As you would expect, Humana is no longer the cheapest option—so it may be time to shop around for a new plan.

Get Ready For An Onslaught Of Food Advertising

Get Ready For An Onslaught Of Food Advertising

Foodmakers are planning to bombard you with advertising to keep you from ditching their carefully groomed brands for some blechy cheapo generics. Pay no attention as they try to re-brand their products as cheap and affordable. Here’s a small preview of what to expect…

Delta Increases 2nd Checked Bag Fee To $50

Delta Increases 2nd Checked Bag Fee To $50

Delta announced today that it’s doubling the fee for a second checked bag from $25 to $50, effective on new bookings starting July 31st for all travel after August 5th. Got a third, fourth, or fifth bag and a lot of money to burn? Fees for those will rise from $80 per bag to $125 each.

See How Soaring Gas Prices Have Impacted Your Community With This Transportation Cost Heat Map

See How Soaring Gas Prices Have Impacted Your Community With This Transportation Cost Heat Map

The Center for Neighborhood Technology has an fun (but painfully slow) interactive map that will allow you to see how soaring transportation costs are impacting different metro areas across the US.

P&G Will Raise Prices Up To 16% On Products Such As Tide, Head & Shoulders, Etc.

P&G Will Raise Prices Up To 16% On Products Such As Tide, Head & Shoulders, Etc.

Procter & Gamble has announced that you will pay more for your Tide and Head & Shoulders and all their other consumer products. P&G is raising prices by as much as 16% on “fabric, home and hair care, bar soaps, and health and shaving products.” P&G is the manufacturer of popular brands such as Gillette and Ivory soap.

Cable: The Worst Deal Of The Decade

Cable: The Worst Deal Of The Decade

The price of everything in the telecom world has fallen over the past decade, except for cable. Cable is now 77% more expensive than it was ten years ago, an increase that dwarfs the rate of inflation and makes telecom executives salivate. The Times looks with pity on all of us who splay our wallets wide for the industry, and asks if there’s any salvation other than à la carte pricing.

http://consumerist.com/2008/05/23/airlines-arent-just-hiking-fees/

Airlines aren’t just hiking fees to cover fuel costs—they’re also reducing the number of places where they’ll fly. Nearly 30 cities across the country have lost their scheduled service over the last year, making it just a little harder to get to sparsely populated areas. [New York Times]