If you’re having a house built, you’re in for a heck of a lot more charges than your down payment, closing costs and mortgage payments. To shape your new home into something livable, you’ll need to go out and buy things that you might normally take for granted. [More]
Maybe the phrase “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” is less a lament of singledom and more of a complaint about being forced by a succession of friends to make unreasonable financial sacrifices in the name of their big day. Women who are asked to be bridesmaids are forced through a gauntlet of brutal financial and time commitments, and should bear those costs in mind before accepting a request from a bride-to-be. [More]
Due out in February, the PlayStation Vita starts at $250, but those who would like to be able to save their games will need a proprietary memory card that isn’t included with the device. Unlike Sony’s last handheld, the PSP — which accepted relatively cheap run-of-the-mill memory sticks, the Vita demands special memory sticks that range from $20 to $100. [More]
Car ownership gives you the illusion of freedom and mobility while actually sticking you with expenses and stasis. The myriad expenses with which cars saddle you aren’t necessarily an argument against owning a vehicle — you need one if your job requires it or you live in a city that lacks reliable public transportation — but those looking for their next car need to know what they’re getting into. [More]
A video game console may seem like a reasonably inexpensive entertainment proposition at first glance, but it actually becomes a black hole of disposable income, gobbling up your funds to purchase accessories, memberships, extra controllers, downloadable content and games. [More]
If restaurant checks always seem to be a bit higher than you envision, it’s because the industry thrives on ways to trick you into giving up extra cash at every turn. Waiters can be upsell-happy con artists, and you are the mark. [More]
Yesterday, Walmart announced that starting next week it will offer a new wireless plan under its own brand, but running on T-Mobile’s network. The rates are good compared to national carriers: $45 per month for unlimited texting and minutes, and $25 per month for each additional line. There’s also no contract, and you pay the bill at the end of each month instead of loading up a pre-pay account. It’s one of the better family-style deals available, except for one thing: the data plans are actually more expensive than AT&T or T-Mobile. [More]
A new study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston says that credit card reward programs have a sneaky hidden cost that the card holder doesn’t have to bear. This occurs because the fee that a retailer pays to run a credit card varies with every card, and reward cards cost more to process–in other words, the card issuer passes the cost of the rewards program on to the retailer. The retailer adapts by raising prices across the board, which distributes the cost of the reward program among all shoppers. [More]
One of the cool things about the iPhone ecosystem is there are nearly 17 quintillion apps available for it, and although many of these are crap, the good ones frequently cost only a dollar or two. Even the premium-priced “productivity” apps–things like note pads and to-do lists–rarely cross the $10 threshhold, which means you can load up your iPhone or Touch with a lot of cool stuff on a modest software budget. But if a leaked video of the iPad app store is accurate, you can expect to pay 200-500% more for simple things like 99-cent games, and PC-level prices for more robust apps, on your fancy new iPad. [More]
Adam got a bad iPhone that stopped providing some key functions–he can’t make calls on it, for example–18 months into ownership. He didn’t buy Applecare when he purchased it, which would have covered him during the second year of his contract. But that shouldn’t matter, he argues: “[Why isn't it] incumbent upon a device maker to guarantee a product’s proper function for–at the very least–the length of the contract required at purchase?” [More]
If you’re thinking of buying a Select Comfort mattress, you might want to budget in an extra $200+ every couple of years to replace the controllers that let you adjust the bed. That’s the commitment Henry seems to be stuck with. Although Select Mattress keeps telling him it’s a rare occurrence, it’s happened twice now with him with both controllers, and he’s not the only one.
A Maryland woman bought some jewelry on sale at the Kohl’s in Westminster, then discovered cheaper prices under the price tags.
Michael writes, ” I was just reserving a budget rental car, and for some reason decided to actually read some of the fine print.” Buried in the text was something called an “FTP Surcharge,” which basically amounts to a participation fee for any frequent flyer promotion they offer their customers.
A new study shows that most Ebay shoppers would rather pay less and pay for shipping than pay more and have free shipping.