Personal Finance

Stop Getting Ripped Off on These 5 Everyday Expenses

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We’ve all been there: frustrated and angry that somebody got one over on us by charging too much for too little.

It doesn’t have to be like that.

If you’re tired of shelling out big bucks, fight back.

Following are some ideas to protect yourself from high prices. Not all will work for everyone; it depends on your situation. But it’s nice to know there are things you can do to keep your budget from getting busted by big expenses.

1. Stop paying outrageous interest; borrow from yourself

Tired of paying 20% or more on credit cards or other bank offerings? There’s a better way. Take advantage of much lower rates by borrowing against your home.

One of the most highly rated lenders is Quicken Loans. They’ve eliminated most of the hoops you used to have to jump through, so it only takes a couple of minutes to see what you qualify for.

Of course, if you’re having trouble making ends meet, be careful with this, or any type of loan. But if you’re gainfully employed, responsible and own a home, there’s no reason to pay ripoff rates. Take a couple of minutes and check it out right now.

2. Stop getting ripped off by insurance companies

Auto insurance is a must. You know what isn’t a must? Paying too much for coverage.

People who switch to Progressive for their auto insurance can save up to $700 – not just initially, but every year. Imagine what you could do with an extra $700 in your budget.

Emergency fund? Extra payment against your mortgage? Retirement planning? It’s your call. Point is, those are dollars that are now working for you instead of for someone else.

Incidentally, a cheaper premium doesn’t mean you’re cheaping out on protection. Progressive is known for its strong coverage. Request your free quote now and see how much you can save this year, and every year.

And don’t stop there. You could also be paying too much to insure your home and pets. Take another minute or two and click here for a free quote on home insurance, then click here for a free quote on pet insurance.

3. Stop paying outrageous rates for home repairs

Your house is full of systems and appliances that can (and will!) break. Finding a reputable repair company on short notice can be challenging, and the costs can be terrifying — especially if two or three things break down in the same year.

Don’t struggle to pay for repairs. Protect yourself against them, with help from Select Home Warranty. The company offers three levels of coverage for your appliances and heating/cooling, plumbing and electrical systems.

When something goes wrong due to normal wear and tear, you just call Select Home Warranty, day or night. The company has a wide network of reputable repair folks who will fix what’s wrong.

And if they can’t fix it? Select Home Warranty will replace it. All you pay is a service fee.

You don’t need a home inspection to qualify for a warranty, and there’s no limit to the number of claims you can file. Right now, Select Home Warranty is offering $150 off plans, two months for free and free roof leak coverage.

Hey, if you’re handy and like to repair stuff yourself, that’s obviously the cheapest route. But if that’s not you, a penny spent now could save you big bucks later.

If nothing else, at least see what it would cost. Get a free quote in 30 seconds.

4. Shield yourself against costly auto repairs

As with homes, car repairs are also in the stratosphere. One shop told Consumer Reports that a decade ago their average repair was $1,600. These days the average bill is $4,000.

Typically, a vehicle manufacturer warranty lasts three years. Yet the average driver will hang on to a car for about a dozen years. If you’re concerned about coming up with thousands of dollars for a repair bill, protect your investment with Endurance.

Endurance provides extended warranty plans of up to 36 months. These aren’t auto warranties, but they’re auto-warranty adjacent. Choose from among three types of plans, to get only the coverage you actually need, for cars up to 20 years old.

All warranties include 24/7 roadside assistance plus rental car benefits while your vehicle is being repaired. For the first year, you’ll get the Elite Benefits program for free; this includes complete tire coverage, key fob replacement, a collision discount and a payment of up to $1,000 if your car is determined to be a total loss.

Endurance has a network of more than 350,000 ASE-certified repair shops. More important: Endurance pays the repair bill upfront. All you need to cover is the deductible.

Afraid of being ripped off by extended car warranties? You should be. Lots of them aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. But Endurance is the real deal. They have a 4.2-star rating with Trustpilot. ConsumerAffairs.com calls it “a solid choice” for drivers of any age, and “particularly appealing” for those with older vehicles.

At least see how much it would set you back, then make an informed decision.

5. Don’t let a nursing home bleed you dry

Here’s hoping that your retirement years are active, healthy and vibrant and that you’re able to function as you always have, right up to the time you shuffle off this mortal coil.

But don’t bet on it. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 7 in 10 people who turn 65 today will probably need some kind of long-term care.

Think you can’t get long-term care (LTC) insurance after age 40? Think again. GoldenCare writes LTC coverage for most people. (Unless they live in the four states where GoldenCare doesn’t operate: Alaska, Florida, Hawaii and Washington.)

“But won’t Medicare take care of all that?” you ask.

Nope. Medicare doesn’t cover long-term custodial care — and paying for it out of pocket could take a huge chunk of your retirement savings. That plus inflation could mean near or total depletion of your nest egg.

With LTC insurance through GoldenCare, you’ll be able to get assistance if you’re sick, incapacitated or need a little help with things like bathing, dressing, cooking, light housework, shopping and the like.

Without LTC insurance, your options aren’t great: running through savings, borrowing money, burdening relatives with your care and possibly losing independence because you can’t live on your own.

You know you’ve thought about it, and you’ve wondered if it would be affordable. It’s time to find out. Take a minute and at least get a free quote.

Bonus: Get free, expert advice on everything money-related

What’s free and gives you tips to spend less, make more and avoid rip-offs? The Money Talks Newsletter. Every day we provide free tips and tricks that will make you richer. And it doesn’t cost a dime.

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Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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