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10/08/2022

Hidden fees you didn’t know you were paying

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With the ongoing cost of living crisis forcing almost everyone to cut costs, it’s the perfect time to take a deep dive into the kind of things you are spending money on. No, not the purchases you know about. We’re talking about the hidden kind. 

If you’re still struggling to make ends meet despite already cutting back, the answer to your financial woes might lie in hidden fees. These are, put simply, unforeseen costs that are added to the total price of a good or service but not disclosed upfront. 

 

With the ongoing cost of living crisis forcing almost everyone to cut costs, it’s the perfect time to take a deep dive into the kind of things you are spending money on. No, not the purchases you know about. We’re talking about the hidden kind. 

If you’re still struggling to make ends meet despite already cutting back, the answer to your financial woes might lie in hidden fees. These are, put simply, unforeseen costs that are added to the total price of a good or service but not disclosed upfront. 

In this article, we’ll outline some hidden fees that most people don’t know they’re paying for so you can avoid being caught out and spending more than you bargained for. 

Why choose Carrington Dean?

  • Write off unsecured debts over £5,000.
  • Stop interest and charges soaring.
  • Reduced payments from £85 per month.

Foreign transaction fees

If you have a holiday on the horizon, you might be planning on just whipping out your credit or debit card to pay for things because it works the same abroad as it does at home, right? Wrong. 

It’s an easy mistake to make – especially if you’re an inexperienced traveller – but with 1% to 3% added to the total cost of your purchase every time you swipe your card abroad, you could end up spending hundreds over the course of your holiday on foreign transaction fees alone. 

According to TotallyMoney, withdrawing £100 can trigger a £7.95 charge with a Halifax or Lloyds credit card and a £4.75 charge with a HSBC or First Direct debit card.

This can, however, be avoided by paying with the local currency or with a credit or debit card that waives foreign transaction fees, such as Chase, Virgin Money, or Starling Bank. 

Subscription fees 

Have you ever signed up for a free trial but forgotten to cancel it before it automatically renewed? Or promised yourself you’ll start using that streaming service that you’ve been paying a fiver a month for? It might only be costing you a couple of quid but, over the course of a year, you could be draining hundreds from your bank account for something you’re not using.

With the average UK household spending a staggering £170 a year on unused subscriptions according to the latest figures from Compare the Market, you could be robbing your savings of £14 a month which – amidst the ongoing cost of living crisis – is money most people can’t afford to waste.

If you use a subscription service but not enough to make it worth the monthly fee, try switching to a family plan to help you spread the cost between more people and only pay for what you use. Similarly, cancelling unused subscriptions can help you free up more of your finances to save for large purchases or cover the cost of day-to-day expenses as the price of almost everything continues to rise. 

How we helped Yvonne

“I never thought I’d be in this situation in a million years but knowing that I had somewhere to turn for support and the arrangement has been an absolute life saver. It has made a huge difference to our financial situation."

Yvonne, Wishaw

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Insufficient funds fees

One of the most common hidden fees that most people don’t find out about until it’s too late is insufficient funds fees. This is, essentially, a fee your bank can charge you when you don’t have the funds to cover the cost of a transaction. 

The figure can differ between banks with some charging £8 a day and others charging £80 a month but with some merchants also charging an extra fee on top of this, you could end up paying more than you bargained for just for failing to keep track of your finances. 

To avoid insufficient funds fees, create balance alerts on your online banking app and link a savings account to your current account so you or your bank can transfer funds before your balance falls below zero and you get slapped with a hefty charge. 

Online ticket fees 

When it comes to buying tickets online, most people would rather pay a little bit more if it means they can complete the process from the comfort of their own home. 

But between service fees, processing fees, and delivery fees, you could end up paying as much as double the original ticket price just for the convenience of being able to download the tickets onto your smartphone. 

So, the next time an event catches your eye, it might be worth checking to see if you can purchase your ticket at a local box office safe in the knowledge that the total ticket price you are quoted is exactly how much you’ll pay. 

ATM fees

When you use an ATM that isn’t associated with your own bank or that charges per withdrawal, your bank might charge you an ATM fee. 

The amount you will be charged differs between banks and cities and usually isn’t more than £3 but with UK banks reportedly making £104m in 2019 from ATM fees alone and the number of fee-charging ATMs rising year-on-year, you could be wasting hundreds of pounds every year just for withdrawing your own hard-earned cash. 

If you use a fee-charging ATM every week and are charged £2 from the ATM and £1 from your bank, for example, you could be spending as much as £150 a year in ATM fees.

You could write off up to 70% of your unsecured debt today

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